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Top 10 Established Dividend ETFs

#6: WisdomTree Dividend ex-Financials ETF (DTN)

DTN index measures the performance of high dividend-yielding stocks outside the financial sector. The index consists primarily of large- and mid-capitalization companies listed on major U.S. stock exchanges that pass WisdomTree Investments market capitalization, liquidity and selection requirements. The fund was launched in June 2006. The expense ratio is .38%. AUM equal $892M and average daily trading volume is over 215K shares. As of mid-December 2011 the annual dividend yield was 3.40% and YTD return was 9.01%.

DTN Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

Data as of December, 2011

  1. CenturyLink Inc (CTL): 2.52%
  2. FirstEnergy Corp (FE): 2.26%
  3. Lorillard, Inc. (LO): 2.19%
  4. Reynolds American Inc (RAI): 2.18%
  5. NiSource Inc (NI): 2.05%
  6. Altria Group Inc. (MO): 2.03%
  7. Progress Energy, Inc. (PGN): 1.96%
  8. Windstream Corp (WIN): 1.89%
  9. Verizon Communications Inc (VZ): 1.87%
  10. Duke Energy Corporation (DUK): 1.87%

#7: Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG) 

VIG follows the Broad Dividend Achievers Index which features constituent companies with a history of increasing dividends. It was launched in April 2004. The expense ratio is .18%. AUM equals $8.5 billion and an average daily trading volume of 1.3M shares. As of mid-December the annual dividend yield is 3.55% and YTD return 8.72%.

An alternative consideration would be VYM (Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF). It follows the FTSE High Dividend Yield Index which consists of large-cap issues from global companies ex-REITs. The fund was launched in November 2006. The expense ratio is .18%. AUM equals $2.2 billion and average daily trading volume is roughly 439K shares. As of mid-December 2011the annual dividend yield is 2.88% and YTD return 7.90%.

VIG Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

Data as of December, 2011

  1. McDonald's Corporation (MCD): 4.35%
  2. Chevron Corp (CVX): 4.16%
  3. ConocoPhillips (COP): 4.15%
  4. PepsiCo Inc (PEP): 4.12%
  5. The Coca-Cola Co (KO): 4.11%
  6. United Technologies Corp (UTX): 4.11%
  7. International Business Machines Corp (IBM): 4.08%
  8. Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM): 3.90%
  9. The Procter & Gamble Co (PG): 3.80%
  10. 3M Co (MMM): 3.61%

#8: First Trust Morningstar Dividend Leaders ETF (FDL)

FDL follows a modified market capitalization weighted index of publicly traded companies that have shown dividend consistency and dividend sustainability. Morningstar identifies a universe of eligible companies through the application of its proprietary multi-step screening process and selects the top 100 stocks, based on dividend yield, for the index. The fund was launched in March 2006. The expense ratio is .45%. AUM equal over $300M and average daily trading volume is over 300K shares. As of mid-December 2011 the annual dividend yield was 3.60% and YTD return was 10.41%.

FDL Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

Data as of December, 2011

  1. AT&T Inc (T): 10.02%
  2. Verizon Communications Inc (VZ): 9.18%
  3. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): 9.03%
  4. Merck & Co Inc (MRK): 7.74%
  5. ConocoPhillips (COP): 5.45%
  6. Abbott Laboratories (ABT): 4.80%
  7. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY): 3.87%
  8. Eli Lilly and Company (LLY): 3.11%
  9. Kraft Foods Inc (KFT): 2.96%
  10. Southern Co (SO): 2.60%

#9: Vanguard Real Estate ETF (VNQ)

VNQ follows the MSCI US REIT Index which is a benchmark of U.S. property trusts that covers about two-thirds of the value of the entire U.S. REIT market.  The fund was launched in September 2004. The expense ratio is .12%. AUM equal $9.2 billion and average daily trading volume is 1.8M shares. As of mid-December 2011 the annual dividend is $1.08 making the current yield was 3.63% and YTD return 4.37%.

IYR (iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate ETF) follows the index of the same name. Risks for the sector are higher due to most assets consist of REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) which are much more volatile and economically sensitive. It's said that over the next 5 years REITs have $3 trillion in outstanding debts due or refinance. The fund was launched in June 2000. The expense ratio is .48%. AUM equal $3 billion while average daily trading volume is nearly 9M shares. As of mid-December 2011 the annual dividend yield is 4.01% and YTD 1.87%. 

Data as of December 2011

VNQ Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. Simon Property Group Inc (SPG): 9.41%
  2. Equity Residential (EQR): 4.88%
  3. Public Storage (PSA): 4.53%
  4. ProLogis Inc (PLD): 4.50%
  5. Vornado Realty Trust Shs of Benef Int (VNO): 4.26%
  6. Boston Properties Inc (BXP): 4.19%
  7. HCP Inc (HCP): 4.07%
  8. Host Hotels & Resorts Inc (HST): 3.19%
  9. AvalonBay Communities Inc (AVB): 3.06%
  10. Health Care REIT, Inc. (HCN): 2.49%

#10: SPDR Dow Jones International Real Estate ETF (RWX)

RWX the Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Real Estate Securities Index which basically consists of REITs in developed and emerging markets. It was launched in December 2006. AUM equal $2.2 billion while average daily trading volume is over 443K shares. As of mid-December 2011 the annual dividend is $2.94 making the current yield 10.43% and YTD return -12.45%. The poor performance is the result of chaos overseas particularly within the eurozone. 

RWX Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

Data as of December, 2011

  1. Unibail-Rodamco SE (UL): 6.83%
  2. Westfield Group (WDC): 6.45%
  3. Brookfield Asset Management, Inc. (BAM): 6.03%
  4. Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd. (8801): 5.55%
  5. Land Securities Group PLC (LAND): 3.14%
  6. Hang Lung Properties Ltd. (00101): 3.06%
  7. Westfield Retail Trust (WRT): 2.90%
  8. Link Real Estate Investment Trust (00823): 2.87%
  9. Dz Bk Ag ([Wts/Rts]): 2.71%
  10. Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd. (H78): 2.44%

It's also important to remember that ETF sponsors have their own competitive business interests when issuing products which may not necessarily align with your investment needs. New ETFs from highly regarded and substantial new providers are also being issued. These may include Charles Schwab's ETFs and Scottrade's Focus Shares which both are issuing new ETFs with low expense ratios and commission free trading at their respective firms. These may also become popular as they become seasoned. 

For further information about portfolio structures using technical indicators like DeMark and other indicators, take a free 14-day trial at ETF Digest . Follow us on Twitter and Facebook as well and join our group conversations.

You may address any feedback to:   

The ETF Digest has no current positions in the featured ETFs.

(Source for data is from ETF sponsors and various ETF data providers)

This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

Dave Fry is founder and publisher of ETF Digest, Dave's Daily blog and the best-selling book author of Create Your Own ETF Hedge Fund, A DIY Strategy for Private Wealth Management, published by Wiley Finance in 2008. A detailed bio is here: Dave Fry.
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