Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you expect most dividend-paying companies to keep paying out cash to shareholders over time, the SPDR S&P Dividend ETF
ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual fund cousins. The dividend ETF's expense ratio -- its annual fee -- is a relatively low 0.35%. Its dividend yield is around 3.2%.
This ETF has performed reasonably, slightly beating the S&P 500 over the past five years. As with most investments, of course, we can't expect outstanding performances in every quarter or year. Investors with conviction need to wait for their holdings to deliver.
What's in it?
Several of this ETF's components made strong contributions to its performance over the past year. Abbott Labs
Other companies didn't add as much to the ETF's returns this year, but could have an effect in the years to come. Telecom specialist CenturyLink
The big picture
A well-chosen ETF can grant you instant diversification across any industry or group of companies -- and make investing in and profiting from it that much easier.
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of Windstream, but she holds no other position in any company mentioned. Click here to see her holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Aflac and Abbott Labs. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Abbott Labs, Pfizer, and Aflac. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.