Despite the recent correction, the broad equities market could still move higher. Nevertheless, investors who are wary of any potential volatility along the road could consider exchange traded funds that focus on consistent dividend payers, say S&P analysts.

“While we believe equities should move higher in the next twelve months, the journey will likely be a volatile one,” Todd Rosenbluth, S&P Capital IQ Director of ETF and Mutual Fund Research, wrote in a research note. “With that in mind, we think investors might find investment strategies focused on consistent dividend-paying stocks appealing. Not only can they help protect against downside in a market pullback, they can also aid returns during a subsequent potential market rally.”

Over the long-term, consistent dividend payers have contributed to higher returns. Specifically, over 40% of total return in the S&P 500 since 1926 has come from reinvested dividends. [Dividend ETFs Remain in Favor as Stocks Hit Record Highs]

One way to gain exposure to quality dividend paying stocks is through the Vanguard Dividend Appreciation Index Fund (NYSEArca: VIG). Rosenbluth believes that VIG offers a “diversified way to get exposure to companies with dividend growth prospects,” and the fund’s “overweight” ranking is attributed to S&P’s performance risk and cost analysis. [A Closer Look at Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF]

VIG tracks the NASDAQ US Dividend Achievers Select Index, which holds stocks with a record of increasing dividends over time.

The fund’s top holdings have a combination of attractive valuations, modest risk and strong balance sheets, according to S&P analysts. VIG, while holding a large exposure to defensive sector consumer staples, also includes cyclical exposure to industrials, consumer discretionary, energy and materials.

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