Editors' Pick: Originally published March 21.
The ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (NOBL) is up 6% in 2016 compared to a flat S&P 500 Index. Simeon Hyman, head of investment strategy at ProShares, said the ETF's success is more about quality than growth or value investing.
"Over the long run companies that have grown their dividends have outperformed companies that have cut, or even just companies that have paid dividends," said Hyman. "NOBL focuses on the longest track record of dividend growth in the S&P 500."
The $1.2 billion fund tracks the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Index, which consists of companies that have raised their dividends for at least 25 consecutive years.
"It's a select club of 50 or so stocks and that has been a powerful story both year-to-date and in the 11 years since the inception of the ETF," said Hyman, adding that while ProShares is well known for its leveraged ETFs, it also offers a sizeable number of non-leveraged funds.
Hyman also recommends the ProShares S&P MidCap 400 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (REGL) for investors anxious to add some income to their portfolios. That fund is up 7.8% thus far in 2016, proving once that mid-caps are generally a widely overlooked sweet spot in the market.
"Historically people focused on large-cap dividend stocks and this is an opportunity to go beyond that," said Hyman.
Finally, Hyman suggested investors seeking a small-cap offering check out the ProShares Russell 2000 Dividend Growers ETF (SMDV) , up 4.6% year-to-date compared to a Russell 2000 Index that is down almost 3% so far in 2016.
"You get these P&L's and growth that look like Russell 2000 Growth companies and you get these quality balance sheets that look like Russell 2000 Value," said Hyman. "That combination delivers outperformance over time."