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Below is a list of the 20 best performing "high yield" ETFs over the past year. The list is updated approximately once per month on Scott's Investments where several other momentum strategies are detailed. ETFs were ranked by one year performance and were required to have a 3% minimum dividend yield.

One year ago, we were in the midst of a crisis, with the worst just about to hit the global economy. Since then, the one year return on many of these yielding ETFs have performed very well.

Some of the ETFs listed below - the US Preferred ETFs - have performed exceptionally well as investors snatched up preferred shares at depressed levels during the financial crisis leading to excellent one year returns. Secondly, emerging markets, Asia, and South Africa have all been leaders in this momentum yield list, which echoes some of the performance we have seen in the overall equity markets.

The 200-day SMA column indicates the percent the ETF is trading above/below its current 200 day simple moving average, a strategy I detail frequently and inspired in part by Tom Lydon, author of The ETF Trend Following Playbook: Profiting from Trends in Bull or Bear Markets with Exchange Traded Funds, and Mebane Faber, author of The Ivy Portfolio: How to Invest Like the Top Endowments and Avoid Bear Markets.

Ticker Company Dividend Yield Performance (Year) 200-Day SMA Price
PFF iShares S&P U.S. Preferred Stock Index 8.25% 29.35% 30.32% 35.96
DGS WisdomTree Emerging Mkts Small Cap Div 3.35% 23.89% 37.92% 39.62
SZR WisdomTree Dreyfus South African Rand 5.71% 23.04% 23.56% 28.3
EZA iShares MSCI South Africa Index 3.40% 22.81% 38.75% 56.11
DNH WisdomTree Pacific ex-Japan Equity Inc 4.40% 20.22% 48.64% 51.67
EWT iShares MSCI Taiwan Index 5.03% 17.62% 31.99% 11.95
PCY PowerShares Emerging Mkts Sovereign Debt 5.95% 17.12% 18.50% 25.99
EWP iShares MSCI Spain Index 4.77% 16.92% 37.41% 49.62
DEM WisdomTree Emerging Markets Equity Inc 5.07% 16.84% 33.26% 47.18
PGX PowerShares Preferred 8.53% 15.90% 19.69% 13.18
PGF PowerShares Financial Preferred 9.24% 15.29% 29.63% 15.53
VWO Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock ETF 3.11% 14.58% 36.45% 37.88
EWH iShares MSCI Hong Kong Index 3.99% 14.01% 28.73% 15.38
DFJ WisdomTree Japan SmallCap Dividend 3.74% 13.22% 18.26% 41.92
EWS iShares MSCI Singapore Index 3.31% 11.74% 36.00% 10.66
LQD iShares iBoxx $ Invest Grade Corp Bond 5.29% 11.66% 9.05% 105.61
EWA iShares MSCI Australia Index 4.18% 10.70% 42.22% 21.32
EMB iShares JPMorgan USD Emerg Markets Bond 5.67% 10.46% 14.56% 101.24
INY SPDR Barclays Capital New York Muni Bond 3.84% 9.36% 7.62% 22.55
CFT iShares Barclays Credit Bond 4.82% 9.28% 8.47% 101.75

Date Source: FINVIZ

Disclosures: None.

Source: The 20 Top Performing 'High Yield' ETFs