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TheStreet Open House

WisdomTree High-Yield ETF Stands Apart

The 20 new WisdomTree exchange-traded funds are causing quite a buzz in the ETF world. The big macro idea of the funds, which were launched in June, is to emphasize dividends rather than market cap in determining components.

WisdomTree, which has another 10 ETFs in the pipeline, has mountains of research providing evidence that dividend-paying stocks outperform the rest of the market over long periods of time.

Among WisdomTree's offerings were the first ETFs tracking foreign high-yielding equity funds. But one of the funds that caught my eye was the domestic-based WisdomTree High-Yielding Equity Fund (DHS), or DHS.

The fund's holdings and concept are similar to the other large-cap dividend ETFs, including the iShares Dow Jones Select Dividend Index (DVY) fund and the streetTRACKS SPDR Dividend (SDY) ETF. But DHS's top-heavy weighting and sector makeup are big variables in evaluating the fund compared with the others.

The specific objective of the underlying WisdomTree index is to screen for dividend-paying stocks with market caps of at least $200 million and average daily dollar volume of $200,000. From there, the top 30% in terms of yield are included in the index. The prospectus says the companies are weighted based on their projected cash dividends as of the date the calculation is done.

DHS is loaded with mega-cap stocks like Bank of America (BAC), at 6.8% of the fund, Citigroup (C) at 6.4% and General Electric (GE) with a 6.2% weighting. The top 10 actually accounts for 44.5% of the fund, which may draw some criticism considering that SDY has 28.1% of its weight in its top 10 and DVY has just 26%. The issue here, if there is one, is that having top holdings with 6% weights instead of 3% makes DHS more susceptible to single-stock risk.

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