Unique Yield ETFs to Keep Skin in the Game

NEW YORK ( TheStreet ) -- As China struggles to stick to its growth trajectory and fears of Europe's sovereign debt crisis make their way back into the picture, investors are likely beginning to question the longevity of the market's early-year rally. This recent bout of turmoil may persist in the coming weeks and lead some to embrace the, "sell in May and go away" mantra, but I feel that exiting the market at this time is not the best idea.

Rather, as turbulence persists, investors may want to consider revisiting some overlooked or unique yield-focused exchange traded products.

Dividend-paying equities and high-yielding corners of the fixed-income universe are two options that will allow individuals to keep some skin in the game, while maintaining an element of protection against near-term upheavals. They have admittedly struggled to hold up against broad funds like the SPDR S&P 500 ETF ( SPY) and the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average Index ETF ( DIA) in 2012, as bulls have had their hooves pressed firmly on the gas pedal.

However, dividend ETFs like the iShares Dow Jones Select Dividend Index Fund ( DVY) and the Vanguard Dividend Achievers ETF ( VIG) have managed to stay in positive territory on a year-to-date basis. As the more aggressively structured of the two, the VIG has been the clear leader, returning more than 5.5% during this period. DVY's year-to-date performance fails to break the 4% barrier.

Either VIG or DVY are worth considering in the event that the clouds continue to gather over the global macroeconomic landscape. However, those who feel that any upheaval will be short-lived, and will ultimately pave the way to another steep leg higher, may want to direct their attention toward the Vanguard-branded option. With some of the largest slices of its portfolio dedicated to industrials and energy, the fund is well-suited for bullish market conditions.

While funds like DVY and VIG may satisfy a fearful investor's appetite for equities, high-yielding options like dollar-denominated emerging market bonds may offer an attractive mix of risk and safety for fixed income-hungry individuals, or those looking to adjust their developed market exposure.

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