First Trust Morningstar Dividend Leaders Index ETF
 (FDL)

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  • Dec. 10, 2015, 3:04 PM
    • Kinder Morgan is making plenty of headlines with its dividend cut, but Barclays says it's energy companies which have been the most reluctant to slash payouts, and energy sector dividends are at an all-time high even with the oil price crash.
    • In fact, says the team, dividends from the energy sector were up 3% Y/Y in Q3.
    • For the S&P 500 as a whole, Barclays expects a 5% increase next year, which would be the slowest pace of dividend growth since 2010. The energy sector should see a 10% decline in payouts.
    • The best strategy: Buy those companies with high dividend-growth rates (currently financials and tech).
    • ETFs: DVY, SCHD, ADX, SDOG, DLN, DHS, FDL, DTD, FVD, DVYL, SDYL
    | Dec. 10, 2015, 3:04 PM | 1 Comment
  • Nov. 17, 2015, 3:41 PM
    • Calling the rise "astonishing," Henderson Global Investors says U.S. companies paid $107.9B in dividends in Q3, up 23.4% for the quarter and a new record.
    • Helping things along though was a $9.8B special payout from Kraft Foods after its purchase by Heinz.
    • The boost in dividends came alongside a 9.3% decline in the S&P 500.
    • The sharp rise capital returns came at least in part at the expense of capital spending, which fell 5.6% for the quarter and is expected to decline for the year.
    • ETFs: DVY, SCHD, ADX, SDOG, DLN, DHS, FDL, DTD, FVD, DVYL, SDYL
    | Nov. 17, 2015, 3:41 PM | 1 Comment
  • Oct. 5, 2015, 12:44 PM
    • Blame it (mostly) on energy/commodities as Markit expects another 62% cut in dividends in the basic resources sector. Payouts in the media sector will decline 21%, but this is due to Disney switching from paying annually to semi-annually, and reallocating $1.1B in returns to next year.
    • In total, Markit sees dividend growth of just 3.4% in Q4, down from 11.5%, 11.4%, and 24.1% growth in the previous three quarters. Special dividends in Q4 this year will total just $1.5B, down from $5.6B a year ago.
    • The top five dividend increases coming in Q4: MasterCard (NYSE:MA) is expected to boost its payout by 31%; Visa (NYSE:V) by 25%, CVS (NYSE:CVS) Health by 23%, Lincoln Financial (NYSE:LNC) by 20%, and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) by 19%.
    • ETFs: DVY, SCHD, ADX, SDOG, DLN, DHS, FDL, DTD, FVD, DVYL, SDYL
    | Oct. 5, 2015, 12:44 PM | 4 Comments
  • May 18, 2015, 3:03 PM
    • Goldman's sees the S&P 500 hitting a mid-year high of 2,150 by mid-year, but fading to 2,100 by year-end after the Fed hikes rates. Its 12-month forecast of 2,125 stands against the current level of 2,130.
    • With appreciation returns expected to be nil, Goldman suggests having a look at its dividend growth portfolio - a sector-neutral basket of 50 stocks. They have a median yield of 2.5% and are expected to boost payouts by 16% this year and 12% in 2016. The group's P-E ratio is 15 vs. 17.3 for the S&P 500.
    • The ten highest-yielding additions: Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) - with a 2.3% yield, Home Depot (NYSE:HD) - 2.1%, Dr. Pepper Snapple (NYSE:DPS) - 2.5%, National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV) - 3.6%, Regions Financial (NYSE:RF) - 2.3%, Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) - 3.1%, Cummins (NYSE:CMI) - 2.4%, Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:STX) - 3.9%, International Paper (NYSE:IP) - 3.1%, AES Corp (NYSE:AES) - 3%.
    • Looking over a ten-year horizon, Goldman expects dividends to account for 46% of the S&P 500's 5% annualized return, up from 20% during the current bull market which started in 2009.
    • ETFs: DVY, SCHD, ADX, SDOG, DLN, DHS, FDL, DTD, FVD, DVYL, SDYL
    | May 18, 2015, 3:03 PM | 21 Comments
  • Mar. 11, 2015, 11:51 AM
    • At the top of the list of those outperforming the largest dividend ETFs and the S&P 500 by a sizable margin is the Deep Value ETF (NYSEARCA:DVP) - launched last September - up 3.1% YTD.
    • Also outperforming: Cambria Shareholder Yield (NYSEARCA:SYLD), First Trust NASDAQ Rising Dividend Achiever (NASDAQ:RDVY), FlexShares Quality Dividend (NYSEARCA:QDF), and WisdomTree U.S. Dividend Growth (NASDAQ:DGRW).
    • The three largest dividend ETFs: VIG, DVY, SDY - are lagging not only the above relative newcomers, but the S&P 500 as well.
    • Seeking Alpha RTA subscribers for the 5 outperformers: 892.
    • Seeking Alpha RTA subscribers for the popular laggards: 16,740.
    • ETFs: DVY, SCHD, SDOG, DLN, DHS, FDL, DTD, FVD, DVYL, SDYL
    | Mar. 11, 2015, 11:51 AM | 5 Comments
  • Jan. 7, 2015, 10:24 AM
    • Net dividend increases of $12B in Q4 compared to $12.7B a year prior. For all 2014, dividend increases of $54.8B were roughly the same as the previous year. 3,308 companies boosted dividends last year vs. 2,895 in 2013.
    • Non-S&P 500 companies got more into the act, with the percentage of those paying dividends rising to 48.5% in Q4 from 47.7% a year earlier.
    • The next area to watch for potential increases is the S&P Small Cap 600, says S&P Dow Jones' Howard Silverblatt, noting a net gain of 15 payers over the past six months.
    • A word of caution: Though the dollar amount of total dividend cuts in Q4 was flat from a year earlier, over half the cuts came from energy issues. It's not yet the financial dividend meltdown of 2008/2009, says Silverblatt, but energy does account for 11% of dividends in the general market.
    • ETFs: DVY, VIG, SDY, SCHD, SDOG, NOBL, DLN, DHS, FDL, DTD, DGRW, FVD, PFM, DVYL, SDYL, DGRO, RDVY, DIVC
    | Jan. 7, 2015, 10:24 AM
  • Nov. 17, 2014, 3:40 PM
    • Companies in the S&P 500 could pay dividends totaling a record $41.2B in November, says S&P Dow Jones' Howard Silverblatt, who notes payouts are on pace for their third straight year of double-digit growth - through the end of October, cash payments of $38.59 per share for the trailing 12-month period are up 10.94% compared to the year previous.
    • For 2015, the pace is set to be at least $40.49 per share, and that assumes no changes to dividend policy (which isn't going to happen, says Silverblatt). At the moment, 364 of the S&P 500 have a higher indicated dividend rate than their actual 2013 payout, and almost half have already declared a higher rate than their 2014 payment.
    • ETFs: DVY, SCHD, SDOG, DLN, DHS, FDL, DTD, FVD, DVYL, SDYL
    | Nov. 17, 2014, 3:40 PM | 3 Comments
  • Jul. 1, 2014, 12:29 PM
    • Dividends in Q2 rose from the first quarter by $12.6B, but the growth lagged that of a year ago when they increased $17.6B, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. The number of firms boosting payouts in Q2 was 696 vs. just 591 a year ago.
    • “The good news is that the number of dividend increases was strong again in Q2, as the 696 increases were the most since 1979,” says the group's Howard Silverblatt. “The bad news is that the growth rate of actual aggregate cash payments has slowed, even as dividends continue to set record payments.”
    • Among the S&P 500, 84.4% of firms currently pay a dividend, the most since September 1998, while all 30 of the DJIA pay a dividend.
    • ETFs: DVY, SCHD, SDOG, DLN, DHS, FDL, DTD, FVD, SDYL, DVYL
    | Jul. 1, 2014, 12:29 PM
  • Apr. 9, 2014, 12:14 PM
    • According to S&P Dow Jones, 1,078 companies boosted dividends in Q1, 14.2% more than a year ago, and besting the previous record of 1.069 set in 1979. The dollar amount of increases foots to $17.8B, 22.9% higher than a year ago. A few cut payouts - 102 out of roughly 10K traded issues, and down from 139 a year ago.
    • The weighted dividend yield grew 4 basis points during the quarter to 2.48%, says S&P's Howard Silverblatt. Room to grow even more? Payout ratios continue to scrape by at 36% vs. their historic average of 52%.
    • Dividend ETFs: DVY, VIG, SDY, VYM, SCHD, HDV, KBWD, DES, NOBL, PEY, DIV, SPHD, DLN, DHS, DTD, DON, FDL, DGRW, FVD, PFM, SDYL, DVYL, DGRS, RDIV, RDVY, QDF, QDEF, QDYN, QINC
    | Apr. 9, 2014, 12:14 PM | 6 Comments
  • Mar. 14, 2014, 11:39 AM
    • The First Trust Value Line Dividend Index ETF (FVD +0.2%) has done its job well, writes Morningstar's Abby Woodham, but the 70 basis point expense ratio is "a relic of the days before the ETF price wars." It may have been acceptable a decade ago, but is "unjustifiable" when similar ETFs are available for just a handful of basis points per year.
    • FVD's portfolio looks like a low-vol strategy that emphasizes yield, she writes, and the 5-year standard deviation is one of the lowest among dividend ETFs.
    • Possible alternatives: Vanguard Dividend Appreciation (VIG +0.1%) with 0.10% expenses, Vanguard High Dividend Yield Index (VYM -0.1%) also charging 10 bps, Schwab U.S. Dividend Equity ETF (SCHD +0.1%) - the cheapest in the category at 0.07% - SPDR S&P Dividend (SDY +0.1%) with 0.35% expenses, WisdomTree Equity Income (DHS) with 0.38% expenses, and iShares Select Dividend (DVY +0.3%) charging 0.40%.
    • ETFs: DVY, VIG, SDY, VYM, SCHD, HDV, KBWD, DES, PEY, DIV, SPHD, DLN, DHS, DTD, DON, DGRW, FDL, NOBL, FVD, PFM, SDYL, DVYL, DGRS, RDIV, RDVY, QDF, QDYN, QDEF
    | Mar. 14, 2014, 11:39 AM
  • Feb. 24, 2014, 3:35 PM
    | Feb. 24, 2014, 3:35 PM | 10 Comments
  • Jan. 7, 2014, 12:05 PM
    • Q4 net dividend increases of $12.7B compared to $8.4B in 2012 Q4, according to S&P. The number of increases (885), however, pales in comparison to the 1,266 "tax-incentivized" hikes from a year ago (there were 649 in 2011).
    • Of roughly 10K traded stocks, 51 companies cut payouts in Q4 compared to 154 in the year-earlier quarter.
    • Room for more hikes? S&P's Howard Silverblatt notes payout rates - which historically average 52% - continue to remain near their low of 36%. "At this point, we expect Q1 to be a very busy positive period for dividends, with 2014 setting another record for payments."
    • The weighted dividend yield off 2.44% compares to 2.6% in Q3 and 2.8% in Q4 of 2012 as boosted payouts aren't quite keeping pace with the strong advance in equity prices.
    • Dividend ETFs: DVY, IDV, VIG, SDY, VYM, SDIV, HDV, SCHD, DWX, KBWD, PID, DES, DTN, PEY, SPHD, DIV, DHS, DLN, LVL, DTD, DGRW, DON, FDL, FVD, PFM, FGD, DOO, NOBL, DOL, SDYL, DVYL, DEW, IDOG, HGI, DGRS, DNL, DGRE, DVYA, RDIV, QDF, QDEF, QDYN, EMDG, IQDF, IQDY, IQDE, WDIV, FIEG
    | Jan. 7, 2014, 12:05 PM | 6 Comments
  • Jan. 2, 2014, 3:03 PM
    | Jan. 2, 2014, 3:03 PM
  • Nov. 26, 2013, 11:22 AM
    | Nov. 26, 2013, 11:22 AM | 6 Comments
  • Nov. 15, 2013, 9:22 AM
    | Nov. 15, 2013, 9:22 AM | 1 Comment
  • Oct. 23, 2013, 2:58 PM
    | Oct. 23, 2013, 2:58 PM | 2 Comments
FDL Description
The First Trust Morningstar® Dividend LeadersSM Index Fund is an exchange-traded index fund. The investment objective of the fund is to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield of the Morningstar® Dividend LeadersSM Index.
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Country: United States
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