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Guide to Dividend Aristocrat ETFs

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Year 2022 has so far been marked by huge volatility and uncertainty that have raised the appeal for dividend investing. Though it does not offer dramatic price appreciation, the strategy is a major source of consistent income for investors in any type of market.

This is especially true as dividend-focused products offer safety in the form of payouts and stability through mature companies that are less volatile to the large swings in stock prices. The dividend-paying securities are major sources of consistent income for investors when returns from equity markets are at risk. Further, these products are proven outperformers over the long term.

While there are plenty of options in the dividend ETF world, zeroing in on the dividend aristocrats could be a wise move in the current market environment, which has been ruffled by higher inflation, Fed rate hikes and geopolitical issues (read: 4 ETFs to Invest in on Rising Market Volatility).

Why Dividend Aristocrats?

Dividend aristocrats are blue-chip dividend-paying companies with a long history of increasing dividend payments year over year. These generally act as a hedge against economic uncertainty and provide downside protection by offering outsized payouts or sizable yields on a regular basis. Additionally, aristocrats tend to skew the portfolio to low volatile sectors and mature companies.

Additionally, these stocks have superior fundamentals that make dividend growth a quality and promising investment for the long term. These include a sustainable business model, a long track of profitability, rising cash flows, good liquidity, a strong balance sheet and some value characteristics. Further, a history of strong dividend growth indicates that dividend increase is likely in the future.

Investors should note that the dividend aristocrat funds offer more dividend growth opportunities compared to the other products in the space but might not necessarily have the highest yields. Further, these products lead to a healthy portfolio with a greater scope of capital appreciation as opposed to the simple dividend-paying stocks or those with high yields (read: 10 Dividend ETFs Up At Least 4% This Year & Yielding At Least 3%).

As a result, these products provide a nice combination of annual dividend growth and capital appreciation opportunity, and are mainly suitable for risk-averse, long-term investors. For them, we have highlighted some popular ETFs that could be excellent choices:

Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG - Free Report)

Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF is the largest and the most popular ETF in the dividend space with AUM of $64.5 billion. The fund follows the NASDAQ US Dividend Achievers Select Index, which is composed of high-quality stocks that have a record of raising dividends every year. Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF holds 267 securities in the basket with none accounting for more than 4.7% share. The fund charges 6 bps in annual fees and has a Zacks ETF Rank #1 (Strong Buy) with a Medium risk outlook.

SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY - Free Report)

With AUM of $20.3 billion, SPDR S&P Dividend ETF provides well-diversified exposure to 119 U.S. stocks that have consistently increased their dividend for at least 20 consecutive years. This can be done by tracking the S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Index. Each firm accounts for less than 2.6% of the assets. SPDR S&P Dividend ETF charges 35 bps in fees and trades in average daily of 574,000 shares. It has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold) with a Medium risk outlook (read: Forget Fed & Geopolitics: 4 ETFs to Love Forever).

iShares Select Dividend ETF (DVY - Free Report)

iShares Select Dividend ETF provides exposure to the companies with a consistent five-year history of dividend payments. It follows the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index and holds 102 securities in its basket with each accounting for less than 2.7% of the assets. iShares Select Dividend ETF has AUM of $20.6 billion and charges 38 bps in fees per year from investors. It trades in average daily volume of $1.2 million shares and has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 with a Medium risk outlook.

Schwab U.S. Dividend Equity ETF (SCHD - Free Report)

With AUM of $34.1 billion, Schwab U.S. Dividend Equity ETF offers exposure to 105 high-dividend yielding U.S. companies that have a record of consistent dividend payments supported by fundamental strength based on financial ratios and ample liquidity. This can be easily done by tracking the Dow Jones U.S. Dividend 100 Index. Schwab U.S. Dividend Equity ETF charges 6 bps in annual fees and trades in average daily volume of $3.2 million shares. It has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 with a Medium risk outlook.

iShares Core Dividend Growth ETF (DGRO - Free Report)

iShares Core Dividend Growth ETF provides exposure to companies having a history of sustained dividend growth by tracking the Morningstar US Dividend Growth Index. It holds 418 stocks in its basket with each accounting for less than 3% share. iShares Core Dividend Growth ETF has accumulated $22.9 billion in its asset base and charges 8 bps in fees per year. It trades in an average daily volume of 2.3 million shares and has a Zacks ETF Rank #1 (Strong Buy) with a Medium risk outlook (read: 5 Must-Buy ETFs With Fed Tightening in the Cards).

ProShares S&P 500 Aristocrats ETF (NOBL - Free Report)

ProShares S&P 500 Aristocrats ETF provides exposure exclusively to the high-quality companies that have not just paid dividends but have raised them in at least 25 consecutive years, with most doing so for 40 years or more. It follows the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Index and holds 64 securities in its basket, with each accounting for less than 2% share. ProShares S&P 500 Aristocrats ETF has amassed $9.7 billion in its asset base and trades in an average daily volume of 708,000 shares. It has an expense ratio of 0.35% and has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 with a Medium risk outlook.

WisdomTree U.S. Quality Dividend Growth Fund (DGRW - Free Report)

WisdomTree U.S. Quality Dividend Growth Fund tracks the WisdomTree U.S. Quality Dividend Growth Index and offers diversified exposure to U.S. dividend-paying stocks with both growth and quality characteristics like long-term earnings growth expectations, and three-year historical averages for return on equity and return on assets. It has gathered $6.9 billion in its asset base and charges 28 bps in fees per year from its investors. WisdomTree U.S. Quality Dividend Growth Fund holds 299 securities in its basket, with each accounting for no more than 5.2% share. It trades in volume of 510,000 per share on average and has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 with a Medium risk outlook.