Launched on 11/08/2005, the SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (
SDY Quick Quote SDY - Free Report) is a smart beta exchange traded fund offering broad exposure to the Style Box - Large Cap Value category of the market. What Are Smart Beta ETFs?
Products that are based on market cap weighted indexes, which are strategies designed to reflect a specific market segment or the market as a whole, have traditionally dominated the ETF industry.
Because market cap weighted indexes provide a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way of replicating market returns, they work well for investors who believe in market efficiency.
But, there are some investors who would rather invest in smart beta funds; these funds track non-cap weighted strategies, and are a strong option for those who prefer choosing great stocks in order to beat the market.
By attempting to pick stocks that have a better chance of risk-return performance, non-cap weighted indexes are based on certain fundamental characteristics, or a combination of such.
Even though this space provides many choices to investors--think one of the simplest methodologies like equal-weighting and more complicated ones like fundamental and volatility/momentum based weighting--not all have been able to deliver first-rate results.
Fund Sponsor & Index
Managed by State Street Global Advisors, SDY has amassed assets over $20.88 billion, making it one of the largest ETFs in the Style Box - Large Cap Value. Before fees and expenses, this particular fund seeks to match the performance of the S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Index.
The S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Index measures the performance of the highest dividend yielding S&P Composite 1500 Index constituents that have followed a managed-dividends policy of consistently increasing dividends every year for at least 20 consecutive years.
Cost & Other Expenses
Investors should also pay attention to an ETF's expense ratio. Lower cost products will produce better results than those with a higher cost, assuming all other metrics remain the same.
Operating expenses on an annual basis are 0.35% for this ETF, which makes it on par with most peer products in the space.
The fund has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 2.65%.
Sector Exposure and Top Holdings
It is important to delve into an ETF's holdings before investing despite the many upsides to these kinds of funds like diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.
This ETF has heaviest allocation in the Consumer Staples sector - about 16.40% of the portfolio. Industrials and Financials round out the top three.
Taking into account individual holdings, At&t Inc. (
T Quick Quote T - Free Report) accounts for about 3.03% of the fund's total assets, followed by Exxon Mobil Corporation ( XOM Quick Quote XOM - Free Report) and Chevron Corporation ( CVX Quick Quote CVX - Free Report) .
Its top 10 holdings account for approximately 20% of SDY's total assets under management.
Performance and Risk
The ETF has lost about -0.66% so far this year and was up about 20.25% in the last one year (as of 01/20/2022). In the past 52-week period, it has traded between $105.27 and $130.75.
SDY has a beta of 0.91 and standard deviation of 23.95% for the trailing three-year period, which makes the fund a medium risk choice in the space. With about 114 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.
SPDR S&P Dividend ETF is a reasonable option for investors seeking to outperform the Style Box - Large Cap Value segment of the market. However, there are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider.
IShares Russell 1000 Value ETF (
IWD Quick Quote IWD - Free Report) tracks Russell 1000 Value Index and the Vanguard Value ETF ( VTV Quick Quote VTV - Free Report) tracks CRSP U.S. Large Cap Value Index. IShares Russell 1000 Value ETF has $58.40 billion in assets, Vanguard Value ETF has $92.32 billion. IWD has an expense ratio of 0.19% and VTV charges 0.04%.
Investors looking for cheaper and lower-risk options should consider traditional market cap weighted ETFs that aim to match the returns of the Style Box - Large Cap Value.
To learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit
Zacks ETF Center.