Vanguard has slashed the expense ratio on one of the largest dividend ETFs that invests in U.S. stocks. Dividend-themed ETFs have been extremely popular with yield-seeking investors and Vanguard’s move could force other providers to follow suit.
Vanguard in a press release said it has reduced the management fee for Vanguard High Dividend Yield Index ETF (NYSEArca: VYM) to 0.10% from 0.13%. VYM is the ETF share class of Vanguard High Dividend Yield Index Fund, which saw its expense ratio lowered to 0.20% from 0.25%.
The ETF tracks a dividend benchmark maintained by FTSE, which worked with Vanguard to develop the index. It targets U.S. stocks with above-average dividend yields, and excludes real estate investment trusts, or REITs.
VYM holds $5 billion in assets and has a 30-day SEC yield of 3.15%, according to Vanguard. [Dividend ETFs: Investors Want Yield]
Morningstar analyst Samuel Lee says VYM has a lower yield than some other dividend ETFs that weight individual stocks by dividends. The Vanguard ETF weights companies by market cap “so mature, higher-quality firms like Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) and Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT) dominate the roost,” he writes in a report on the ETF.
“This may disappoint yield-seekers, but it lends the fund a more cautious posture than many other dividend funds. It would serve ably as a core holding,” Lee added.