A quirky dividend ETF based on a variation of the “Dogs of the Dow” investment approach is easily beating the S&P 500 this year while also paying an above-average yield.

ALPS Sector Dividend Dogs ETF (NYSEArca: SDOG) has delivered a total return of 16.9% year to date, versus an 11.7% gain for the S&P 500, according to Morningstar.

The ETF isolates the S&P 500 constituents with the highest dividend yield in their respective sectors “providing the potential for price appreciation as market forces bring their yield into line with the overall market,” according to ALPS, the fund manager. [Dow ‘Dividend Dogs’ ETF Launches]

SDOG was paying a 30-day SEC yield of 4% at the end of March. The fund charges an expense ratio of 0.40%.

The ETF recently broke through $200 million in assets. [ETFs for Yield: ‘Dividend Dogs’]

“This fund is less than one year old so getting to this level so soon should be commended,” said Chris Hempstead, director of ETF execution services at WallachBeth Capital LLC.

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