The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.NEW YORK ( ETF Expert) -- For three years, individual investors betting on the "end of days" have been burned at the stake. Summertime corrections occurred in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and each time markets recovered handsomely. In 2012, it would be easy to employ the same pattern of "selling in May and going away." On the other hand, the more predictable the pattern, the less likely it is to occur.
1. iShares High Dividend Equity Fund ( HDV). Want to get your capital appreciation cake and eat the "yield-inspired" icing too? HDV provides a 29% exposure to non-cyclical pharmaceuticals as well as a 30-day, annualized SEC yield of 3.7%. That's 150 basis points more than a 10-year yield. In other words, HDV could be flat for a decade and still give you a heck of a lot more to cheer about. (But how about just overweighting it for now!) 2. PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility ( SPLV). You can argue with its underachievement in 2012, as the S&P 500 has been rocking its low volatility boat. But you can't argue with a strong technical uptrend or an anticipated yield north of 3%. This ETF seeks investment results that correspond to the price and yield of the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index, which consists of the 100 stocks from the S&P 500 with the lowest realized volatility over the past 12 months. Typically, stocks with less volatility are inherently non-cyclical in nature -- from staples to utilities to health care. One last word about the runaway bull. In February of this year, the number of New York Stock Exchange companies at 52-week highs minus those hitting 52-week high lows hit 280 companies. Then, the S&P 500 hovered at the 1350 level. Today, as the S&P 500 continues to hold the 1400 mark, the net difference between 52-week highs and 52-week lows is down to 38. In essence, less corporations are shouldering the weight for the heralded benchmark. Granted, many technical analysts will call this a bearish sign. Others will simply say that there is little conviction about the direction of the economy, the political landscape or the world's well-being at large. That said, I feel it would be equally unwise to abandon equities completely. It's far better to
modify the nature of your risk exposure than to choose a course of "all in" or "all out."