There are a number of dividend ETFs for sale, but only some will match your objectives. A few of the top-performing dividend funds include:

Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ( VIG)

This ETF follows the Dividend Achievers Select Index, which includes stocks that have a history of increasing dividends over at least 10 years. This approach takes a look at the historical dividend policy of management and uses that to project how the company will issue dividends in the future.

iShares Dow Jones Select Dividend ( DVY)

The exchange traded fund is managed by BlackRock ( BLK) and looks to produce a similar performance to the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index. The index consists of 100 of the highest dividend-yielding securities (excluding REITs) in the Dow Jones U.S. Index. Further criteria include dividend growth to be flat to positive in all of the previous five years and a payout ratio of 60% or less for each stock.

SPDR S&P Dividend ( SDY)

This ETF mimics the S&P High-Yield Dividend Aristocrats Index, which comprises the 60 highest dividend-yielding S&P Composite 1500 Index stocks. Those stocks have also consistently increased their dividends every year for at least 25 consecutive years, making the growth of capital an important attribute and indicating the high quality of this index.

PowerShares High Yield Dividend Achiever Portfolio ( PEY)

This ETF follows the Mergent Dividend Achiever 50 Index and invests in 50 stocks with at least 45 of those stocks providing a dividend yield. Stocks are selected based on the yield they deliver and must have consistent growth in their dividends. The criteria is set to avoid investing in troubled companies.

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