There has been no shortage of chatter pertaining to dividend ETFs this year and with inflows to these funds soaring, it is evident investors like the idea of getting paid without having to incur single-stock risk.
ETF sponsors clearly are not blind because, in 2012, it feels like hardly a week goes by without a new dividend fund coming to market. However, new dividend ETFs are no different than any other new exchange-traded product in that some will survive and thrive while others will not be around in a few years.
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Fortunately, the tells regarding a new dividend ETF's future prospects are fairly easy to spot. Investors should evaluate the following funds to find the right combination of easy-to-comprehend investment objectives, decent yields and future viability. Note that "new" for the purposes of this exercise is defined as only those ETFs that have debuted in 2012.
PowerShares S&P 500 High Dividend Portfolio (NYSE:SPHD) If there is a criticism of including the PowerShares S&P 500 High Dividend Portfolio on this list it is that the fund is just a week old and declaring any ETF a survivor after just a week is a tough thing to do. Dig a little deeper and it is easy to see why SPHD will likely be a successful fund.
Simply put, SPHD combines the best of two very popular worlds: Dividends and the low volatility theme. SPHD has "high dividend" in its name, but the ETF's 50 constituents come from the S&P 500 Low Volatility High Dividend Index.
Not surprisingly, that means utilities, consumer staples and telecommunications names dominate this ETF. That trio represents over 48 percent of SPHD's weight, indicating the ETF should be a useful income-generating tool in turbulent market environments.
First Trust Multi-Asset Diversified Income Index Fund (NYSE:MDIV) The First Trust Multi-Asset Diversified Income Index Fund is just two months old, but it is clear the timing its debut was spot on. MDIV has $46.5 million in assets under management, an impressive haul for just 60 days of work.
MDIV is also far from complex. The ETF exposes investors to five high-yielding groups high-yield stocks, junk bonds, MLPs, preferred stocks and REITs. The weights range from 15.3 percent for preferreds to 23.4 percent for MLPs.
Speaking of REITs, Citigroup published a report today saying REITs are an under-owned asset class. MDIV helps solve that issue for investors with an 18.4 allocation to the group.
WisdomTree China Dividend Ex-Financials Fund (NASDQ: CHXF) CHXF is another example of a new ETF with good timing. The fund debuted just five weeks ago, but < a href="http://www.benzinga.com/trading-ideas/long-ideas/12/10/3019622/koesterich-reiterates-overweight-rating-on-china">China ETFs were already rebounding before then, enabling CHXF to jump 6.3 percent in the past month.
In those five weeks, CHXF has drawn in $18.4 million in AUM. As its name implies, financials are excluded from the lineup, meaning investors have another credible alternative to larger China ETFs such as the iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund (NYSE:FXI).
Not only will investors get paid with a dividend to make the switch to CHXF, they avoid any potential dividend reductions by Chinese banks, an event which seems to be a foregone conclusion at this point.
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