Dividend ETFs To Guard Against Volatile Markets

Includes: DLN, HDV, SDY, VYM
by: Tom Lydon

With the equities market showing greater volatility, investors can take a look at dividend exchange traded funds that hold up during tougher times while generating some cash on the side.

"We believe that when pullbacks happen, dividend stocks fare better than others because their yields provide downside protection," Geoffrey Mrema and Todd Rosenbluth, S&P Capital IQ, said in a MSN article.

S&P Capital IQ analysts screened for "overweight" ETFs with a 12-month yield of over 2.5% that don't focus on specific sectors like utilities, a traditional safe-haven, dividend play.

However, some market observers warn that dividend stocks may be overpriced on a historical basis after investors dove into income-generating assets in response to the record low yields over the past couple of years.

Some dividend picks that fit the bill include:

The SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (NYSEARCA:SDY) tracks companies that have increased dividends every year for at least 20 years and includes 83 components. Top sectors include consumer staples 18%, financials 17% and industrials 13%. SDY has a 0.35% expense ratio, a 2.61% 12-month yield and is up 16.9% year-to-date.

The Vanguard High Dividend Yield Index Fund (NYSEARCA:VYM) selects holdings based on the highest yields and includes 396 component stocks. Top sectors include consumer staples 17%, energy 13% and industrials 12%. VYM has a 0.10% expense ratio, a 2.85% 12-month yield and is up 16.1% year-to-date.

The iShares High Dividend ETF (NYSEARCA:HDV) picks stocks based on their relatively high yields provided on a consistent basis and includes 77 holdings. Top sectors include health care 21%, consumer staples 18% and telecom services 14%. HDV has a 0.40% expense ratio, a 3.09% 12-month yield and is up 14.3% year-to-date.

The WisdomTree LargeCap Dividend Fund (NYSEARCA:DLN) tracks 300 of the largest U.S. dividend paying companies. Top sectors include consumer staples 15%, information technology 14% and financials 13%. DLN has a 0.28% expense ratio, a 2.85% 12-month yield and is up 13.9% year-to-date.

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.