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3 ETFs Yielding Over 6% to Watch as Market Speculates Rising Rates

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One of the biggest questions doing rounds in the market since the past few months is the actual timing of the Fed’s first rate hike after six years.  While many were hoping and the Fed officials were giving solid signals of the first rates hike this year itself, the strong job numbers reported last week reinforced the expectations.

Since the Fed officials are still in the wait-and-see mood, global concerns refuse to stay away, inflation remains bleak and oil prices continue a tumultuous ride, uncertainty and speculations regarding the actual timing of the start of the Fed tightening cycle turned rife.  While some expect the hike in the first half, some see it coming in the second.

In anticipation of the imminent hiking, interest rates have been inching up lately. Following the latest strong job report which included better-than-expected hourly wage growth, yields on U.S. benchmark 10-year notes crossed 2% mark on February 10 for the first time this month. Notably, the last time that yields on 10-year U.S. notes were above 2% this year, was on January 8.

As yields on benchmark government debt took an ascent, many investors started to panic about the income producing securities in their portfolios as the high-yield equity spaces like utilities are likely to underperform in the coming days.

Given this, investors will certainly look for much higher yielding options at this time, especially those which have the potential to offer price appreciation too. Below we have analyzed three ETFs yielding more than 6% that investors could consider in the rising rates environment.

PowerShares KBW High Dividend Yield Financial Portfolio (KBWD)

This fund provides exposure to the highest dividend-yielding stocks of the broad U.S. financial space, including banking, insurance and diversified financial services. In any case, financial ETFs look to perform better in a rising rate scenario.

 It tracks the KBW Financial Sector Dividend Yield Index and holds 37 securities. Small-cap value stocks which should presently be the flavor of U.S. investing account for more than 67% of the portfolio followed by 20% invested in mid-cap value stocks. The ETF is pretty spread out across each component as no security holds more than 5.7% of assets (read: Best Financial ETFs for This Market Slump).

KBWD has a good $279.4 million in AUM and charges a higher annual fee of 1.55%. The cost of overall trading could rise as the fund trades in low volume of around 60,000 shares a day. Though the ETF lost 0.4% in the past month (as of February 10, 2015), it has an impressive 12-month yield of 8.47%. The fund has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold) with a Medium risk outlook.

Guggenheim S&P Global Dividend Opportunities Index ETF (LVL)

This ETF follows the S&P Global Dividend Opportunities Index which focuses on high yielding securities from around the world. As many as 100 securities are chosen from around the world for inclusion, with heavy exposure going toward finance, telecom, utilities, energy and consumer discretionary securities.

American stocks account for roughly 21% of total assets, while European stocks, in aggregate, account for around 30% of the exposure profile. The 12-month yield comes in at 6.39%, while the expense ratio comes in at 73 basis points per year (read: Dividend ETFs Explained: What Investors Need to Know).

The fund has returned about 3.4% in the last five days (as of February 10, 2015). With most of the exposure lying on the international arena where ultra low interest rates are to stay longer along with a QE policy prevailing in the Euro zone, the product should be a hit in the days to come.

Arrow Dow Jones Global Yield ETF (GYLD)

 For investors who want exposure to a variety of high yielding market areas, ArrowShares’ GYLD could be an excellent choice. This fund tracks the Dow Jones Global Composite Yield Index, giving access to five key market areas; global equities, global real estate, global sovereign debt, global alternatives and global corporate debt (read 4 Excellent Dividend ETFs for Income and Stability).

The fund puts 20% in each of five sectors with no single security taking more than 0.97% in the fund. This ensures that the product is well diversified among 150 total holdings. The fund pays a 12-month Yield of 6.61% (as of February 10, 2015).

Over the last one week (as of February 6, 2015), the fund returned more than 2%. From the year-to-date look, the fund has added about 7%. The fund’s multi-asset approach and a global footprint should offer decent capital appreciation going forward. Moreover, despite being a global ETF, around 65% focus on the U.S. dollar should keep the fund away from excessive negative currency translation (read: Protect Your Portfolio with These Multi-Asset Income ETFs).
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