Investors can choose from a number of dividend-oriented investments to quench their thirst for income, but some of the exchange traded funds that offer the beefiest yields might not be the ones you'd think of first.
For instance, Trang Ho for Investor's Business Daily points out that the iShares MSCI Singapore Small-Cap Index Fund (EWSS) has a 12-month yield of 20.5%. Over half of EWSS holdings are in real estate assets, followed by 19% in industrials, 6% in consumer staples, 4% in consumer discretionary and 5% in energy.
Investment strategists, though, warn that consumer spending may have peaked in 2010 to 2011. The country depends on East Asia and Chinese spending, and China's economy is slowing.
Moreover, high rent costs has pushed foreign companies to set up shops in neighboring countries where wages are also lower. A strong currency has also depressed the export industry.
"Singapore's economy is going through a sharp slowdown, so an investor in EWSS should have a trailing stop loss in place," Carl Delfeld, managing partner at Chartwell Pacific, said in the article.
The Global X Junior Miners ETF (JUNR) shows a 12-month yield of 18.2%, but the fund is down 34.5% year-to-date. The fund tracks small-cap companies engaged in mining, producing, smelting and refining coal, copper, gold, iron, nickel, silver and titanium, with a market cap of $600 million.
Mining stocks have been underperforming metals for a while and took a beating as precious metals plunged this year. However, some are betting on miners as a contrarian and valuation play as the average miner stock show a forward price-to-earnings ratio of around 11, compared to 13 for world stocks.
The iShares MSCI Hong Kong Small Cap Fund (EWHS) has a 13.6% 12-month yield. The fund is up 8.8% year-to-date. EWHS tracks small-cap stocks with sector weightings including consumer staples at 37%, financials 11%, technology 20% and industrials 5%.
The lower financials weight is also positive as Hong Kong is in the midst of a so-called housing property bubble.
"EWHS is viewed as more of a pure play in the small-cap equity sector, meaning it should respond quicker to the positive trends in the Hong Kong markets," Andrew Schrage, co-founder of MoneyCrashers.com, said in the article. "Hong Kong has excellent credit and is an established trade avenue into China."
Nevertheless, Hong Kong companies are experiencing a slowdown in growth out of mainland China.
Business Development Company (BDCS)
The UBS E-TRACS 2x Wells Fargo Business Development Company Index ETN (BDCL) has a 14.2% 12-month yield. The fund is up 11% year-to-date. The leveraged debt note provides exposure to a basket of business development companies that lend money to small and mid-sized companies. BDCs accrue returns through loans and share appreciation.
"BDCs can do well as long as the economy is expanding and credit quality is improving. I would become wary of them as economic expansion matures and growth slows," Sam Subramanian, founder of AlphaProfit Investments, said in the article.
The iShares FTSE NAREIT All Mortgage Capped Index (REM) comes with a 12.7% 12-month yield. The fund has gained 3.3% year-to-date. Mortgage real estate investment trusts have been declining over the past month on speculation g that the Fed will begin "tapering" its quantitative easing measures and higher interest rates, which threaten profits.
"Rising short-term rates and tightening spreads between short- and long-term interest rates can undermine these risky real estate investments," Subramanian added.
Max Chen contributed to this article.