Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you'd like to add dividend payers to your portfolio and would like some international diversification, as well, the PowerShares International Dividend Achievers ETF
The ETF's holdings are based on the "dividend achievers" concept, which seeks companies that have increased their dividends each year over the past five years. It yields about 3.5%.
ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual fund cousins. The PowerShares ETF's expense ratio -- its annual fee -- is a relatively low 0.50%.
This ETF has performed well, handily outperforming the world market over the past three and 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 global dividend payers did well over the past year. U.K.-based telecom giant Vodafone
Gas and oil shipper Teekay LNG Partners
Other companies didn't do as well last year, but could see their fortunes change in the coming years. Telefonica
Finally, mining and fertilizer company Vale
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.
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Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian, whom you can follow on Twitter, holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see her holdings and a short bio. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Vodafone Group and Visa. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.