International Dividend ETFs And Rising Interest Rates

Includes: DFE, IDV, VGK
by: Tom Lydon

Rising interest rates have put U.S. markets on edge, but income-oriented investors can branch out to international dividend exchange traded funds that track developed countries with rates rising at a slower pace.

European markets are turning around as the Eurozone breaks out of a recession. U.S. investors also benefit from a strengthening euro currency, writes Eric Dutram for Zacks. Moreover, many European stocks are trading around decent valuations.

Dutram points out that investors who are interested in diversifying with developed market dividend ETFs can take a look at a couple options:

The Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF (NYSEARCA:VGK) tries to reflect the performance of the FTSE Developed Europe Index, which tracks companies from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. VGK has a 0.12% expense ratio and a 5.13% 12-month yield.

Sector allocations include basic materials 9.5%, consumer cyclical 8.9%, financials 18.9%, real estate 1%, telecom 5.7%, energy 8.6%, industrials 10.4%, technology 4.1%, consumer defensive 15.5%, healthcare 12.7% and utilities 5.9%.

Britain makes up the largest country allocation, followed by Switzerland.

The iShares International Select Dividend ETF (NYSEARCA:IDV) follows the Dow Jones EPAC Select Dividend Index, which tracks the highest-yielding stocks from developed markets. The fund also screens for stocks that have raised or maintained dividends over the past three years and five-year payout ratios don't exceed 50% of the average payout ratio of the originating country. IDV has a 0.50% expense ratio and a 5.23% 12-month yield.

European countries make up about 70% of the portfolio and Australasia makes up 21%.

Sector allocations include financials 19.2%, oil and gas 14.8%, industrials 13.4%, utilities 12.8%, consumer services 11.7%, telecom 10.4%, tech 8.2%, consumer goods 5.4%, basic materials 2.3% and healthcare 1.3%.

The WisdomTree Europe SmallCap Dividend ETF (NYSEARCA:DFE) tracks the companies that make up the bottom 25% of the market-capitalization of the WisdomTree Europe Dividend Index after the 300 largest companies are removed. DFE has a 0.58% expense ratio and a 3.49% 12-month yield.

The U.K. makes up about 25% of the fund, followed by Sweden at 17% and Italy 11.%.

Sector allocations include industrials 25.8%, consumer discretionary 15.7%, financials 15.4%, technology 13.9%, materials 9.9%, consumer staples 7.5%, healthcare 5.2%, telecom 3.6% and energy 2.2%.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.