As Rates Rise, Some Dividend ETFs Stand Firm

December 6th at 1:16pm by Todd Shriber

Ten-year Treasury yields are rising once again. With Thursday’s close at 2.86%, 10-year yields are again flirting with the supposedly ominous 3% level after climbing 7.5% in the past month and 3.6% in the last five trading sessions.

As was seen earlier this year when rates spiked following the initial taper tantrum, some dividend exchange traded funds are vulnerable to rising rates. Namely those with heavy exposure to rate-sensitive sectors such as consumer staples, telecom and utilities. [Dividend Reinvestment Via ETFs]

Investors are showing their concern about the potentially dour impact higher Treasury yields could have on some dividend ETFs. Since the start of November, nearly $960 million combined has been pulled from the iShares Select Dividend ETF (NYSEArca: DVY), iShares Select Dividend ETF (NYSEArca: HDV) and the Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (NYSEArca: VYM).

VYM’s combined allocation to the three aforementioned sectors is about 29%. HDV’s is nearly 51%, but rising rates are not hampering all dividend ETFs. In fact, the scenario could shine a light on the future of dividend ETF investing.

“This year we saw a tremendous rise in the 10-year Treasury note yield, which moved from a low of 1.6% to its current level of 2.5%. During that same time frame, the WisdomTree U.S. Dividend Growth ETF (NasdaqGS: DGRW), a broadly diversified basket of dividend growth stocks, has maintained its yield of 2.00%. If an investor can reasonably say that a basket of stocks will aggressively grow their dividends year-over-year for the next 10 years, the chances of maintaining purchasing power due to inflation are greatly enhanced,” writes John Jacobs for Forbes.

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