This week brought the return of a familiar theme for the most searched exchange traded funds on ETF Trends: Dividends.
August is not the most brisk of months for dividend increases, though there were a few this week, but the third quarter is shaping up to be decent on the dividend growth front. That comes on the heels of an impressive second quarter.
According to S&P Dow Jones Indices, 696 dividend increases were reported during the second quarter of this year compared to the 591 increases which were reported during the second quarter of last year. For the first half of 2014, 1,774 issues increased their payments, up 15.6% from the 1,535 issues that increased their payments during the first half of 2013. [Dividend Growth Meaningful for These ETFs]
Continued thirst for dividends and the ETFs that focus on payouts had the WisdomTree Equity Income Fund (NYSEArca: DHS) and the Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (NYSEArca: VYM) tussling for the top spot among the week’s most searched ETFs.
There are enough differences between the two ETFs that income investors can hold both at the same time and the similarities between the two funds are important as well. For example, both ETFs offer dividend yields well in excess of 10-year Treasuries. Both feature significant allocations to companies whose dividends are considered safe and each features a healthy weight to the dividend growth offered by the technology sector. [Quiet Excellence for This Dividend ETF]
Speaking of income, this week brings one of the largest assortments of fixed income ETFs we have seen on a most searched list in quite a while.
The group was paced by the db X-Trackers Municipal Infrastructure Revenue Bond Fund (NYSEArca: RVNU), the first ETF to focus exclusively on revenue bonds. Due to recent swings in the munis market are attributed to the high-profile bankruptcy filings in Detroit, Michigan and Stockton, California, along with financial problems in Puerto Rico, an ETF like RVNU becomes all the more attractive. [A Different Avenue to Muni Bonds]
Not surprisingly, the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: HYG), the largest high-yield bond ETF, was the next most searched bond ETF after RVNU. The PIMCO Total Return ETF (NYSEArca: BOND) also makes a most searched appearance this week on new the Bill Gross ETF has significantly increased its exposure to investment-grade corporate debt. [Bill Gross ETF Feasts on Corporate Debt]