Companies are seeing record cash flow and all signs pointing to dividends soaring in the coming months. Whether you are a conservative investor looking for retirement income or an aggressive investor seeking capital gains, dividends should be a staple of your investment diet.

If you don’t have dividend ETFs in your portfolio, you are quite literally leaving money on the table. Of course, with 134 and counting dividend ETFs available, picking the right one can be a daunting task.

Dividend Yield and You

It might be tempting to look at which ETFs have the highest dividend yield and go with them, and though dividend yields are an important consideration, they aren’t the whole ballgame. High-yield companies can indeed get you income fast, but they also tend to be more volatile. When markets take a hit, high-yield stocks can often go tumbling. A high percentage of nothing is still nothing.

If you are playing a long game, you might want to look at stocks positioned for steady growth instead of opting for the ones with the flashiest looking numbers next to their headline data. Of course, if you need income in the short term, then dividend yield will be your primary concern.

Dividend ETFs To Get You Started

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) is the world’s most heavily traded dividend ETF, as it offers exposure to the S&P 500 benchmark. This is a versatile ETF that has long-term value for investors who are early in their financial journey. It also has strategic value for active investors looking to maneuver between offensive and defensive market plays.

The Vanguard High Dividend Yield Index ETF (VYM) is a solid long-term option linked to an index composed of about 440 different companies. Its wide net of exposure includes consumers, energy, and industrials. This broad exposure brings a degree of stability to VYM. The fund also benefits from a low expense ratio. This is a good “buy and hold” option.

Though the market is hot in general, Real Estate has been particularly on fire, and there are few better dividend options than REITS. The Invesco KBW Premium Yield Equity REIT ETF (KBWY) is the investment equivalent of brewing a pot of coffee with regular water and then using that freshly brewed coffee to brew a second more powerful pot of coffee. With a 6% dividend yield, KBWY can flip your income from groggy to wired on a dime. It tracks anywhere from 24 to 40 small and midcap REITs, making it more prone to volatility but a fantastic option for any investor who needs an income jolt.

For more news, information, and strategy, visit the Dividend Channel.