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Is Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG) a Strong ETF Right Now?

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Designed to provide broad exposure to the Style Box - Large Cap Blend category of the market, the Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG - Free Report) is a smart beta exchange traded fund launched on 04/21/2006.

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.

A good option for investors who believe in market efficiency, market cap weighted indexes offer a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way of replicating market returns.

However, some investors believe in the possibility of beating the market through exceptional stock selection, and choose a different type of fund that tracks non-cap weighted strategies: smart beta.

These indexes attempt to select stocks that have better chances of risk-return performance, based on certain fundamental characteristics or a combination of such characteristics.

This area offers many different investment choices, such as simplest equal-weighting, fundamental weighting and volatility/momentum based weighting methodologies; however, not all of these strategies can deliver superior results.

Fund Sponsor & Index

The fund is managed by Vanguard. VIG has been able to amass assets over $65.75 billion, making it one of the largest ETFs in the Style Box - Large Cap Blend. Before fees and expenses, this particular fund seeks to match the performance of the NASDAQ US Dividend Achievers Select Index.

The S&P U.S. Dividend Growers Index consists of common stocks of companies that have a record of increasing dividends over time.

Cost & Other Expenses

When considering an ETF's total return, expense ratios are an important factor. And, cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive cousins in the long term if all other factors remain equal.

With one of the least expensive products in the space, this ETF has annual operating expenses of 0.06%.

It's 12-month trailing dividend yield comes in at 1.75%.

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.

For VIG, it has heaviest allocation in the Information Technology sector --about 19.30% of the portfolio --while Industrials and Healthcare round out the top three.

Taking into account individual holdings, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT - Free Report) accounts for about 4.51% of the fund's total assets, followed by Jpmorgan Chase & Co. (JPM - Free Report) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) .

Performance and Risk

Year-to-date, the Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF has lost about -4.90% so far, and is up roughly 13.74% over the last 12 months (as of 03/28/2022). VIG has traded between $147.08 and $172.21 in this past 52-week period.

VIG has a beta of 0.88 and standard deviation of 21.02% for the trailing three-year period, which makes the fund a medium risk choice in the space. With about 270 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF is an excellent option for investors seeking to outperform the Style Box - Large Cap Blend segment of the market. There are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider as well.

ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (NOBL - Free Report) tracks S&P 500 DividendAristocrats Index and the iShares Core Dividend Growth ETF (DGRO - Free Report) tracks Morningstar US Dividend Growth Index. ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF has $10.18 billion in assets, iShares Core Dividend Growth ETF has $23.62 billion. NOBL has an expense ratio of 0.35% and DGRO charges 0.08%.

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 Blend.

Bottom Line

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.

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