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Why Dividend Stocks & ETFs Belong in Your Portfolio

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  • (1:30) - Why Are Dividend Stocks So Popular Right Now?
  • (5:20) - Will Companies Continue To Raise Their Dividends?
  • (9:00) - What Is The Difference Between Dividends and Share Buy Backs
  • (12:30) - Breaking Down S&P Dow Jones Indices
  • (16:15) - Dividend Growth Stocks vs High Paying Dividend Stocks
  • (18:35) - ETFs To Keep On Your Radar


In this episode of ETF Spotlight, I speak with Anu Radha Ganti, Senior Director, Index Investment Strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices, about dividend investing.

Investors have poured billions of dollars into dividend stocks and ETFs this year. These stocks look better positioned than bonds in the current market environment of rising rates and inflation. They may grow their payouts and realize capital appreciation and can therefore provide some inflation protection over the long term.

Dividend payers also usually weather market downturns better than others. There are two popular approaches to dividend investing—dividend growth stocks and high dividend stocks.

Dividend growers are usually high-quality companies with solid balance sheets and stable cash flows. These stocks handily outperformed high dividend payers for almost 15 years.

This year, however, high dividend payers have done better than dividend growers. They are typically in defensive sectors like utilities, real estate, and consumer staples. Many energy companies have also boosted their payouts in recent years, and they are among the top holdings in high dividend funds.

The most popular dividend ETF— Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG - Free Report) —tracks the performance of the S&P U.S. Dividend Growers Index. The fund has about $61.8 billion in assets and charges just 0.06% in expense ratio.

VIG holds companies that have that have a record of increasing dividends over time. UnitedHealth Group (UNH - Free Report) and Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) are its top holdings.

The ProShares S&P 500® Dividend Aristocrats® ETF (NOBL - Free Report) holds companies that have grown their dividends for at least 25 consecutive years. Albemarle (ALB - Free Report) and Exxon Mobil (XOM - Free Report) are among the top holdings.

The SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 High Dividend ETF (SPYD - Free Report) invests in top 80 high dividend-yielding companies within the broad benchmark. The product charges just 0.07% in fees and has a juicy yield of about 4%.

The SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY - Free Report) tracks the performance of the S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats® Index. It holds companies that have consistently increased their dividend for at least 20 consecutive years and weights them by yield.

The iShares Select Dividend ETF (DVY - Free Report) holds 100 US stocks with 5-year records of paying dividends. Valero Energy (VLO - Free Report) and Altria (MO - Free Report) are among the top holdings.

Tune in to the podcast to learn more.

Make sure to be on the lookout for the next edition of ETF Spotlight! If you have any comments or questions, please email

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