WisdomTree to Reshape Dividend ETFs to Exclude Financials

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 |  Includes: DOO, DTN, DVY, WETF
by: Index Investor

WisdomTree Investments (WSDT.PK) is changing the investment strategy of two of its dividend-focused exchange-traded funds so that they exclude exposure to the Financials sector.

Beginning in late April, the WisdomTree Dividend Top 100 (NYSE: DTN) will be renamed the WisdomTree Dividend ex-Financials Fund; its international counterpart, the WisdomTree International Dividend Top 100 (NYSE: DOO), will be renamed the WisdomTree International Dividend Ex-Financials Fund.

The funds will become the first dividend-focused ETFs to exclude Financials.

"There are quite a few dividend-focused ETFs on the market today, many of which have significant exposure to Financials," said Luciano Siracusano, director of sales for WisdomTree. "We wanted to provide clients with a choice, to give them the option to get yield without getting exposure to Financials."

The Financials sector tends to be one of the higher-yielding sectors in the market, and dividend-focused ETFs tend to be overweight Financials. The most popular dividend ETF, the iShares Dow Jones Select Dividend Fund (NYSE: DVY), is currently 24.55% invested Financials; that compares to the S&P 500, which is currently just 9.98% exposed.

As of February 25, both DTN and DOO had large positions in the Financials too: 23.18% for DTN and 39.10% for DOO. The funds will trade out of those positions by late April, replacing them with other high-yielding stocks. WisdomTree says that there will be no tax consequences, which is not surprising given that most Financial stocks are trading at multiyear lows.

"We won't know for sure until we calculate the new index, but my instinct is that the change will not have much of an impact on the yield of the fund," said Siracusano. "We have 34 dividend-weighted ETFs on the market. We thought we would take two of them—one domestic and one international—and give people the option to get exposure without the financials exposure."

The filing announcing the move is available here.

-- This report was submitted by IndexUniverse.com's Matthew Hougan.