There are a number of options available to ETF investors. For instance, the PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility Portfolio (NYSEArca: SPLV), which tracks the 100 least volatile stocks on the S&P 500, and the iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility ETF (NYSEArca: USMV), which selects stocks based on variances and correlations, along with other risk factors, are two popular low-volatility ETF plays. [Slow And Steady: ETF Strategies for a Volatile Market]

For dividend yield exposure, the Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (NYSEArca: VYM) has a 3.11% 12-month yield, iShares Core High Dividend ETF (NYSEArca: HDV) has a 3.76% 12-month yield and iShares Select Dividend ETF (NYSEArca: DVY) has a 3.28% 12-month yield. VYM selects stocks based on annual dividend yield forecasts, excluding more sensitive areas like real estate investment trusts, master limited partnerships and micro-caps. The portfolio includes a collection of large-cap heavy names with an above average yield. HDV also screens picks to account for financially healthy, high-quality U.S. companies with relatively high dividend payouts. DVY tracks 100 high-yielding U.S. stocks and weights components by dividend per share. [Where To Look In A Low-Yield Environment]

The recently launched e Compass EMP US Large Cap High Dividend 100 Volatility Weighted Index ETF (NasdaqGM: CDL) and the Compass EMP US Small Cap High Dividend 100 Volatility Weighted Index ETF (NasdaqGM: CSB) combine the two themes. [Compass Expands ETF Lineup With Three New Funds]

While Legg Mason does not currently have any ETFs available, the money manager is working on a number of smart-beta index-based ETFs, including the Legg Mason Developed ex-US Diversified Core ETF, Legg Mason Emerging Markets Diversified Core ETF, Legg Mason US Diversified Core ETF and Legg Mason Low Volatility High Dividend ETF. [Legg Mason Crafting Four Smart-Beta, Index-Based ETFs]

For more information on ETFs, visit our ETF 101 category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

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