By Abby Woodham
The most popular domestic and international dividend exchange-traded funds are differentiated by more than just their regional exposure. The domestic ETFs with the largest share of inflow over the past year are constructed to offer total return by focusing on high-quality dividend payers. As a result, these funds tend to have yields only slightly higher than that of the S&P 500, but they outperform over time on both a total return and risk-adjusted basis. The most popular international dividend ETFs are somewhat riskier and boast dividend yields that tend to be significantly higher than that of the popular benchmark MSCI EAFE Index. These ETFs are more speculative and volatile than the quality dividend strategies that are so popular for U.S. stocks. Investors looking for total return should carefully examine international dividend ETFs to ensure they're not unwittingly taking on more risk than expected.
Top Domestic Dividend ETFs
It happened by accident largely, to be completely honest with you. Hey, that's how many things are invented. And the invention here is one of my accounts that delivers a beta that is so low it seems to defy logic and the laws of gravity. I achieved that mix from the process of selling some investments that had done extremely well from 2007 to 2011 -- and then the process of moving those assets to "safety." You can see an examination of the process and my recent investment history here.
It is certainly a safer portfolio that at one point offered an asset mix of roughly 68% bonds to 32% equities. That's a low-volatility mix of stocks and bonds for sure. In fact, using the very effective risk tools on Vanguard's site, that's ones of the safest mixes historically that one can construct when it comes to percentage of
Foreign assets in US dollar terms topped the list of winners in April among the major asset classes, supported by a weak dollar. The US Dollar Index posted its first calendar-month decline in April (-1.5%) this year, providing a tailwind for foreign stocks and bonds after translating the returns into greenbacks. But the gains in offshore markets was still no match for the US REIT market, which tops the list for April with a hefty 6.7% increase, based on the MSCI REIT Index--the biggest monthly rise for the asset class in more than a year. At the opposite end of