More individuals are turning to dividend ETFs as an income play, but investors need to be aware that varying dividend ETF products follow different strategies.
At Vanguard, VIG is the bigger product with $10.6 billion in assets, while VYM holds $3.3 billion.
The two sound like they both follow dividend stocks, which catches the attention of investors trying to boost yield in their portfolios. However, they track completely different strategies and they may be more conservative than you might think, as both may serve adequately as a core holding. [Best ETFs for Dividends and Income]
Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (VYM) tracks stocks with high dividend yields or companies that have historically issued above-average dividend yields. VYM has an expense ratio of 0.13%.
Top components include Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM), Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT), Chevron (NYSE: CVX), General Electric (NYSE: GE) and AT&T (NYSE: T). The fund’s top sector allocations include consumer staples 19.2%, energy 12.8%, industrials 12.3%, health care 12.2% and financials 10.3%.
VYM follows a market-weight methodology, so high-quality, established firms will dominate the space. Additionally, the fund removes real estate investment trusts, companies that have not issued a dividend in the last year and ranks the remaining stocks by yield. The final product is an ETF that tracks the highest-yield third of the U.S. market.