The PowerShares S&P 500 High Dividend Portfolio (SPHD) "is composed of 50 securities traded on the S&P 500 Index (SPY) that historically have provided high dividend yields and low volatility," according to PowerShares.
The fund essentially adds a dividend component to the popular PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility Portfolio (SPLV), which tracks the 100 S&P 500 members with the lowest trailing 12-month volatility. That ETF, the first low-volatility fund to list in the U.S., now has $4.81 billion in assets since it debuted four years ago.
Pure-play dividend ETFs also have been popular. Investors have poured $3.37 billion into the Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG), the largest dividend fund, over the past two years.
Investors also have been steadily embracing the combo ETF this year. The PowerShares S&P 500 High Dividend Portfolio has a trailing 12-month dividend yield of 3.36%, which is nearly a full percentage point above where 10-year yields closed Thursday.
The ETF also pays its dividend monthly, providing a steady stream of payouts to income investors. Those might be two reasons why the ETF has hauled in almost $304 million of its $560 million in assets this year.
The combo ETF isn't without risks, of course. The largest sector weight in the fund, 19%, is given to utility stocks, which tend to offer both dividends and price stability. But those stocks are also vulnerable to rising interest rates.