Broader equity markets are enduring a rough fourth quarter, but some dividend growth exchange traded funds are helping investors avoid some of the downside being captured by traditional broad market funds.
The ProShares S&P 500 Aristocrats ETF (CBOE: NOBL) is an example of a dividend growth fund that has recently been notably less bad than the S&P 500.
NOBL, which tracks the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Index, targets the cream of the crop, only selecting components that have increased their dividends for at least 25 consecutive years. Consequently, investors are left with a portfolio of high-quality, sustainable dividend payers as opposed to more high-yield focused funds that may contain companies on more precarious financial positions.
From October 1, 2018 through November 23, 2018, NOBL fell 4.38%, meaning it outperformed the S&P 500 by 500 basis points over that period, according to ProShares data.
“Dividend growth strategies held up better than the broader market during the recent downturn and also had the consistent growth to perform in rising markets,” said the issuer. “The key is quality—dividend growers generally had the financial stability to withstand market turmoil.”
Smaller Stocks, Too
Smaller stocks, including mid caps, with long track records of boosting dividends, have also been outpacing non-dividend strategies. The ProShares S&P MidCap 400 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (CBOE: REGL) tracks the S&P MidCap 400 Dividend Aristocrats Index, which requires member firms to have raised payouts for at least 15 straight years.