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Based on MSCI developed markets country and region indexes, New Zealand, Australia and Spain produced 4% or higher annualized dividend yields over rolling 1, 3, 5 and 10 years as of 2012-04-06.

Spain, in particular, accomplished that by the severe downturn in stock prices. Australia would not have registered a 4+% return for the 1-year period except for a near 10% price drop.

Tiny New Zealand, however, which had dividend yields of high 5% to high 6% range over 1,3, 5 and 10 years, also had generally solid total returns, suffering only a negative 0.4% total return for 5 years. That period, which included 2008, compares favorably with most countries; and they did well for 1, 3 and 10 years.

The United States ranked low in the dividend dimension relative to most of the other MSCI indexes.

On the total return front, the 5-year period is a focus item, because it highlights the decline into 2008 and the subsequent climb back up.

Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, Pacific-exJapan Israel, Australia, USA, Denmark, and Switzerland managed to register positive 5-year returns. Sweden, New Zealand and the developed markets World index managed to lose less than 1% over 5 years.

However, among those with positive or near-positive 5-year total returns, only New Zealand and the United States generated positive 1-year total returns. The developed markets World index and Switzerland came in not too far behind with negative 1.7% and negative 2.2% 1-year returns.

(click to enlarge)

This article is for information only, and is not a recommendation for or against any particular investment. It's meant solely to provide a comparative data perspective on developed country stock indexes, and extract the historical dividend yield of country indexes from price and total return figures.

The country or region ETFs listed, may or may not track the MSCI country index, and with tracking error and management fees, the return will differ in any event. Some funds may use sampling (typically for larger markets) and others may use replication (typically for smaller markets).

Some of the identified ETFs are quite new, thinly traded and unsuitable at this time for most investors. Some countries have very minor global stock market significance, and as such represent highly active, non-core decisions if utilized.

Country and region ETFs identified in this post:

Country ETFMSCI Index
EWHHONG KONG
EWSSINGAPORE
EWCCANADA
EPPPACIFIC ex JAPAN
EISISRAEL
EWAAUSTRALIA
VTIUSA
EDENDENMARK
EWLSWITZERLAND
EWDSWEDEN
ENZLNEW ZEALAND
URTHWORLD
NORWNORWAY
EWGGERMANY
VPLPACIFIC
EWUUNITED KINGDOM
EFAEAFE
VGKEUROPE
EWNNETHERLANDS
EWJJAPAN
EWQFRANCE
EZUEMU
EWPSPAIN
EFNLFINLAND
EWKBELGIUM
EWIITALY
EWOAUSTRIA
EIRLIRELAND
GREKGREECE

Disclosure: QVM has no positions in any named security as of the creation date of this article (April 7, 2012).

Disclaimer: This article provides opinions and information, but does not contain recommendations or personal investment advice to any specific person for any particular purpose. Do your own research or obtain suitable personal advice. You are responsible for your own investment decisions. This article is presented subject to our full disclaimer found on the QVM site available here.


Source: Dividend Return Vs. Total Return For Developed Market Country Indexes