ALPS launched the International Sector Dividend Dogs ETF (IDOG) on Friday. The fund is similar to SDOG in its focus on dividend paying equities from developed countries (ex-U.S.). IDOG comes with an expense ratio of 0.50%, vs. WDIV and SDOG (0.40%), DEW (0.58%), PID (0.56%) and LVL (0.60%).
Popular dividend ETFs - HDV, VYM, VIG, SDY, DVY among them - have fared worse than the SPY as interest rates have risen of late. Credit Suisse narrows the risk down further, identifying 20 stocks with the biggest share of their float held by dividend ETFs. This basket includes Cincinnati Financial (CINF) and Pitney Bowes (PBI) and it's off 3.4% since Ben Bernanke's May testimony, twice as much as the broad market. We'll post the other 18 as they come available.
Vanguard's popular Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG) gets even cheaper, the annual fee dropping to 0.10% from 0.13%. It's the 56th Vanguard ETF to drop fees this year vs. a total of 65 run by the company. Competitors include: DVY, SDY, VYM, HDV, DLN.
Multi-asset income ETFs are here to stay, writes Paul Britt, as Guggenheim's CVY crosses $1B in AUM. It's been around since 2006, but a new entrant, MDIV has pulled in $440M in less than a year. These income funds have no mandate in their search for yield and roam across dividends (DVY), high-yield (HYG), REITs (IYR, VNQ), and MLPs (AMJ) as necessary. One drawback is their somewhat high expense ratios - in the 60-80 bp range, compared, for example, to DVY at 40 bps. Other M-A ETFs: INKM, IYLD, GYLD, HGI.
WisdomTree (WETF) plans a Wednesday launch for its U.S. Dividend Growth Fund (DGRW) - tracking a fundamentally-weighted index of about 300 dividend payers with annual cost of 0.28%. Among the eligibility requirements: Regular dividends for 12 consecutive months and market cap of at least $2B. Individual security weighting is capped at 5%, with sector allocation capped at 20%. Among the large selection of other dividend funds: VIG, PFM, DHS, DTN. More here.
Goldman Sachs lifts its forecasts for the S&P 500 (SPY), as David Kostin and company now say they expect the index to gain 5% by year-end to 1,750, 9% to 1,900 in 2014, and 10% to 2,100 in 2015. The rationale: expectations of above-trend real GDP growth beginning next year (Mr. Evans' "escape velocity" ?) coupled with P/E multiple expansion to 16x. Furthermore, dividends should rise ~30% over the next two years, bolstering the firm's claim that dividend-paying equities (DVY) are one of the only places U.S. investors can look to for income-generation. Some of GS's dividend picks, as listed on MarketWatch: Mattel (MAT), Ford (F), Philip Morris (PM), Walgreen (WAG), Chevron (CVX), U.S. Bancorp (USB), GE, Western Union (WU), Dow Chemical (DOW), and AT&T (T).
The Cambria Shareholder Yield ETF (SYLD) launches - an actively managed fund led by The Ivy Portfolio author Mebane Faber. Income's nice, but don't focus too much on dividends, says Faber, who also adds in share buybacks and debt repayment to create "shareholder yield." Competing dividend ETFs include: VIG, DVY, SDY, VIG, HDV, and DLN.
"Which has a higher P/E - Procter & Gamble (PG) or Google (GOOG)," asks the WSJ's Tom Lauricella. Enthusiasm for anything with yield has driven the P-E ratios of dividend payers (DVY) like P&G maybe way too high. Techs (XLK) with double-digit earnings growth, no debt, and massive cash balances trade at 12x, says MFS' James Swanson, while a utility (XLU) in Ohio is at 16x. "How far do you go with this game?" "Pretty far," says Templeton's Donald Taylor. "The macro environment (causing this) is not at all likely to change anytime soon."
All of the slide presentations from IU"s InsideETFs conference are now available. One of interest shows how eligibility requirements on certain dividend indexes will keep out stalwarts like MSFT, IBM, ORCL, INTC, CSCO, and AAPL for years to come even as the same stocks account for significant holdings of other indexes with the name dividend on them.
More on dividend increases: In 2012, 2,883 firms increased their dividends, against 275 lowering their dividends. Forward yield hit an all-time high and actual cash payments increased 18% in 2012. The yield increased throughout 2012 ending flat at 2.80%. The report expects 2013 to be setting another record for regular cash dividends.
Net dividend increases totaled $8.4B in Q4, according to S&P. 1,262 firms increased their dividends, up 94.5% Y/Y, vs. just 154 lowering. Of more import, the payout ratio remains at 36% against long-term average of 52%.
Dividend players have 3 new ETFs to choose from with Northern Trust's FlexShares unit launching 3 self-indexed funds (QDF, QDEF, QDYN). The difference between the three will be in their volatility relative to the base index.
The envelope please ... The winner of the ETP of the year is Invesco's PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility Portfolio (SPLV). The trend-setting product has generated a good deal of alpha - total return of 18.3% since May 2011 inception vs. S&P of 9.9% - by holding the lowest volatility stocks. It now has more than $3B in AUM.
Strubel Investment notes the horrid record of managements using cash for buybacks or M&A. Buybacks are simple - companies tend to do them when the share price is high (JPMorgan a classic example: It suspended purchases after the CIO loss with the stock near $30, and will rev them up again next year in the 40's). The top tax rates for dividends would have to rise to 70-80% to make them less valuable than the alternatives.
Dividend stocks are not a crowded traded, argues Bahl & Gaynor's Matt McCormick (full presentation), seeing little correlation over the decades between tax rates and returns. Of note were dividend payers underperforming the rest of the market by 52.5% in 2003 after dividend tax rates were cut.
Why does high-yield in reference to bonds signal greater risk to investors, but high-dividend yield in reference to equities does not, wonders a fund strategist. When it comes to dividend ETFs, it pays to consider total return first, writes Paul Britt, as the yield and performance can vary ... widely.
WisdomTree Equity Income Fund seeks investment results that closely correspond to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the WisdomTree Equity Income Index.
See more details on sponsor's website