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This ETF Hogs Yield

While there may never be a "Pokemon" or "Elmo" ETF, we are starting to see some humor in the naming of these funds. Just look at the recently listed Claymore/Zacks Yield Hog ETF (CVY).

In case it is not clear, the fund seeks yield and is going after the existing dividend ETFs. The prospectus states that in addition to domestic common stocks, the Yield Hog will invest in ADRs, REITs, master limited partnerships, closed-end funds and preferred stocks. This already makes it a different animal -- the other dividend ETFs own stocks, period.

The first inclination might be to conclude that CVY will not appreciate in value because of its willingness to take in things like preferred stocks and closed-end bond funds, which typically trade in a very narrow price range.

However, according to Claymore, the Zacks Yield Hog Index, the index underlying CVY, "selects companies with potentially high income and superior risk-return profiles ... the objective is to outperform on a risk-adjusted basis the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index, which underlies the iShares DJ Select Dividend Fund (DVY)."

Results of a back test of the fund (which began trading on Sept. 21) vs. the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index illustrate that the Yield Hog index enjoys significantly higher total returns over five years (16.37% vs. 11.00%); three years (19.3% vs. 15.38%); one year (10.32% vs. 8.79%) and year to date through Aug. 31 (12.13% vs. 9.57%).

As the chart below shows, $10,000 invested in the Yield Hog index would have easily outpaced the same amount held in the Select Dividend index over the five-year period from 2001 to 2006.

Claymore says it cannot be specific about yield, but it has set a general goal of doubling the yield of the existing stock-dividend ETFs.

DVY yields 3.38%, the PowerShares High-Yield Dividend Achievers Fund (PEY) yields 4.25%, the streetTRACKS SPDR Dividend Fund (SDY) yields 2.91% and the WisdomTree High-Yielding Equity Index Fund (DHS) yields 3.96%.

Taking those figure into account, the Claymore fund could yield between 6% and 8%.

According to the fund's most recent literature, there are 147 holdings in the Yield Hog's portfolio. Two of the top three holdings are covered-call closed-end funds: the (BEP)and the (RCC). Both of these holdings have slightly more than a 1% weighting each in the fund.
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