If you're a fan of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and you seek dividend income, you may well be invested in the iShares Dow Jones Select Dividend Index
In December of 2003, Mathew Emmert profiled this then-new ETF in a special report for subscribers of his Motley Fool Income Investor newsletter. He noted, "The fund invests in the 50 highest-yielding companies in the Dow Jones U.S. Total Market Index and boasts a respectable yield of 3.85%. That's a welcome addition to any income-oriented portfolio."
Indeed. Today, though, the fund has become less concentrated, which isn't always a good thing. It now invests in 100 or more securities -- 114, last time I checked. Top holdings included Altria Group
Its yield isn't what it used to be, either -- recently sitting around 2.76%. Still, that's much better than the average stock's yield. A few months ago, Emmert revisited the holding, along with other dividend payers, in a "Dividends Go Mainstream" article, saying, "It's returned a total of 29% vs. the S&P 500's 17% since my recommendation, yet it still boasts a respectable 3% distribution yield. With quality blue-chip names peppering its core holdings, this is a welcome addition to any income-oriented portfolio. Better still, this ETF also has one of the lowest expense ratios in the class, at just 0.40%." He also noted that, ". though this is fairly common for income-oriented funds, Select Dividend is heavily weighted in financials and utilities, which compose roughly 60% of the portfolio."
I can't argue too much with Select Dividend as a compelling ETF, but I'd also like to suggest that you consider investing in some individual companies that offer significant dividend yields. You might do this instead of, or in addition to, investing in Select Dividend. For example, consider that Emmert has recommended some 60 investments in the two-plus years that Income Investor has been around and that about 25 of them currently offer yields above 4%. Indeed, roughly 13 of them sport yields of around 6% or more.
I invite you to take advantage of a free trial of Income Investor -- that way, you'll be able to see the entire list of recommended investments and how they've fared, as well as have access to all past issues and special reports. Not a bad deal for free, eh?
You can learn a lot more about ETFs in our ETF Center. Click in to learn how ETFs stack up against mutual funds, how to develop an investment strategy with ETFs, pitfalls to avoid, how to avoid the ETF imposters out there, and more. These articles may also be of interest:
- Dividends Go Mainstream
- Mutual Funds vs. ETFs
- Three Things to Know About Your ETF
- Buy the Whole Mall
- The Age of the Exchange-Traded Fund
- ETFs and Falling Fund Fees
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.