Preferred stock exchange traded funds held up during the Cyrpus brouhaha, but most investors are more interested in the investments’ ability to generate robust yields.
The iShares S&P US Preferred Stock Index Fund (NYSEArca: PFF), which comes with a 5.52% 30-day SEC yield and 0.48% expense ratio, gained 0.20% over the past week, while the S&P 500 index remained unchanged. [Preferred Stock ETFs: An Alternative Source of Yield]
A preferred stock is a blended security made up of leveraged companies. The stock has bond characteristics in that they pay a fixed income regularly and do not prosper from the earnings growth of the subject company. Preferred stocks trade on an exchange just like any other security.
On the securities pecking order, preferred stocks are senior to common stock but junior to corporate bonds, and shareholders have no voting rights.
“Preferred stock is a good diversifier, with low correlations to other income-generating asset classes like REITs, MLPs, corporate bonds, TIPs, and popular income ETFs,” according to Morningstar analyst Abby Woodham.