7 Best Dividend ETFs Of March 2023 (2023)

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The Best Dividend ETFs of March 2023

Dividend ETF Name (ticker)Dividend Yield
JPMorgan Diversified Return International Equity ETF (JPIN)2.85%
Vanguard Short-Term Inflation-Protected Securities ETF (VTIP)6.79%
iShares International Developed Property ETF (WPS)2.45%
SPDR S&P Global Dividend ETF (WDIV)4.86%
Invesco S&P 500 High Dividend Low Volatility ETF (SPHD)3.76%
iShares Core High Dividend ETF (HDV)3.53%
Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG)1.90%

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JPMorgan Diversified Return International Equity ETF (JPIN)

7 Best Dividend ETFs Of March 2023 (4)

Expense Ratio

0.37%

Dividend Yield

2.85%

5-Year Average Annualized Return

0.63%

7 Best Dividend ETFs Of March 2023 (5)

Expense Ratio

0.37%

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Dividend Yield

2.85%

5-Year Average Annualized Return

0.63%

Why We Picked It

The JPMorgan Diversified Return International Equity ETF isn’t sold as a dividend ETF, per se, but a high yield and reasonable expense ratio propel it onto our list. JPIN tracks the JP Morgan Diversified Factor International Equity Index, but not too closely. The fund uses a factor approach to screen for value, quality, and momentum indicators, which may offer the potential for higher returns.

Twenty-five percent of the companies owned by JPIN are from Asia (excluding Japan), while another 26.6% of the portfolio includes European companies (excluding the U.K.). The fund underweights financial stocks and overweights utilities. Unlike most other ETFs on our list, this one owns smaller market cap firms with value characteristics. This fund might be considered a bit riskier due to its allocation to smaller global companies.

JPIN Chartby TradingView

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Vanguard Short-Term Inflation-Protected Securities ETF (VTIP)

7 Best Dividend ETFs Of March 2023 (6)

Expense Ratio

0.04%

Dividend Yield

6.79%

5-Year Average Annualized Return

2.69%

7 Best Dividend ETFs Of March 2023 (7)

Expense Ratio

0.04%

Dividend Yield

6.79%

5-Year Average Annualized Return

2.69%

Why We Picked It

The Vanguard Short-Term Inflation-Protected Securities ETF follows the Bloomberg U. S. Treasury TIPS 0-5 year index. This benchmark tracks Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) with less than five years to maturity.

VTIP is a low-fee U.S. inflation bond fund that’s designed to offer investors cash flow, appreciation and capital preservation, all with an eye to minimizing the impact of inflation. The interest rate on individual TIPS owned by the fund is set when the bonds are issued. Dividends are paid quarterly on the inflation-adjusted value of the bonds.

The shorter term bonds in this fund are protected from default by the federal government, while the principal value of the bonds adjusts semi-annually based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). As inflation increases, or decreases, so will the principal value of the bonds within the fund.

VTIP Chartby TradingView

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SPDR S&P Global Dividend ETF (WDIV)

7 Best Dividend ETFs Of March 2023 (8)

Expense Ratio

0.40%

Dividend Yield

4.86%

5-Year Average Annualized Return

2.24%

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Expense Ratio

0.40%

Dividend Yield

4.86%

5-Year Average Annualized Return

2.24%

Why We Picked It

The S&P Global Dividend Aristocrats Index provides the benchmark index for the SPDR S&P Global Dividend ETF. This index tracks the 100 stocks with some of the highest dividend yields worldwide—and it’s weighted so that no more than 20 stocks are from any single country.

Dividend aristocrats are public companies that have increased their dividends each year for 25 years. It includes companies like Abbot Laboratories, Chevron and The Coca-Cola Co.

WDIV, on the other hand, includes companies that have sustained or boosted their dividends for at least 10 years. The fund currently owns 97 stocks with an average P/E ratio of 12 and an average price-to-book (P/B) ratio of 1.11, representative of value stocks.

Canada, the U.S. and Japan are home to most of WDIV’s current portfolio of stocks, with weightings of approximately 25%, 23% and 12%, respectively. Financial stocks, utilities, and real estate make up around 60% of the fund’s stock market sector weightings. This ETF is likely to be less correlated with U.S. stock markets than some of the other selections on our listing, which could provide added diversification.

WDIV Chartby TradingView

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Invesco S&P 500 High Dividend Low Volatility ETF (SPHD)

7 Best Dividend ETFs Of March 2023 (10)

Expense Ratio

0.30%

Dividend Yield

3.76%

5-Year Average Annualized Return

6.63%

7 Best Dividend ETFs Of March 2023 (11)

Expense Ratio

0.30%

Dividend Yield

3.76%

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5-Year Average Annualized Return

6.63%

Why We Picked It

The Invesco S&P 500 High Dividend Low Volatility ETF is benchmarked against the S&P 500 Low Volatility High Dividend Index. The fund typically owns 90% of the index’s constituent stocks.

As its name suggests, SPHD combines high-dividend yields and low volatility, a welcome feature for today’s choppy markets. The average price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is reasonable at 14.8, while the average return on equity (ROE) is above 22%—these metrics represent stable, value companies.

More than 50% percent of SPHD’s holdings are in utilities, consumer staples and real estate stocks. The fund’s holdings lean toward the large-cap value universe, with a decent exposure to the mid-cap value group. The current yield is superior to that of many dividend achiever funds.

SPHD Chartby TradingView

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Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG)

7 Best Dividend ETFs Of March 2023 (12)

Expense Ratio

0.06%

Dividend Yield

1.90%

5-Year Average Annualized Return

10.43%

7 Best Dividend ETFs Of March 2023 (13)

Expense Ratio

0.06%

Dividend Yield

1.90%

5-Year Average Annualized Return

10.43%

Why We Picked It

The Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF’s benchmark is the S&P U.S. Dividend Growers Index, which tracks large-cap stocks that have a history of increasing their dividends. The portfolio includes many blue-chip names like Microsoft, UnitedHealth Group, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble.

Unlike some of our other choices, VIG owns stocks that span the growth stock and value investing categories. Stocks in the portfolio have an average P/E ratio of 18.3 and its P/B ratio of 3.9.

Information technology, industrial stocks, financials and health care make up roughly 65% of the companies held by VIG. The yield is the lowest of the ETFs on our list, but investors should expect greater price appreciation from this fund to offset the more modest income potential. In addition, the very low 0.06% expense ratio keeps more of your money at work in the market.

VIG Chartby TradingView

*All data is sourced from Morningstar, current as of February 21, 2023.

Methodology

We screened the entire universe of dividend ETFs using four factors:

  • Low expense ratios.
  • High dividend yield.
  • Good five-year trailing returns.
  • Top 20% category rank.

From the resulting list of the most attractive dividend ETFs, we selected a diverse mix of stock, bond and real estate funds that garnered neutral to high Morningstar ratings. Finally, we polished the list by choosing well-regarded fund families with reasonable investment strategies.

To learn more about our rating and review methodology and editorial process, check out our guide on How Forbes Advisor Rates Investing Products.

What Is a Dividend ETF?

Dividend ETFs are exchange-traded funds that hold stocks with a strong history of paying dividends to their shareholders. When you own a dividend ETF, fund managers ensure the holdings are always ones that pay out good dividends.

Like any other exchange-traded fund, the managers of a dividend ETF choose a portfolio of stocks to match the composition of a dividend index. The resulting portfolio provides the holders with an inexpensive income-generating investment asset.

Dividend ETFs can be a more convenient way to pursue income investing than owning and managing your own basket of individual dividend stocks. Unlike the coupon payments on bonds, dividend payments are never guaranteed—that makes maintaining a portfolio of dividend stocks more labor intensive for individual investors.

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How To Choose a Dividend ETF

Morningstar lists more than 130 dividend ETFs, making it imperative that you understand how to choose the right one for your portfolio. For example, two dividend funds might have a similar yield. But you might prefer the ETF, where dividends have historically grown at a faster rate.

When choosing a dividend ETF, you’ll want to be aware of:

  • Dividend yield. Dividend yield is the percentage of the purchase price paid in dividends during the prior 12 months. If a $100 ETF pays $10 in dividends, it has a 10% dividend yield.
  • Dividend growth. Just because a company pays a dividend now doesn’t mean it will continue in the future. Even if it keeps its dividend, there are no guarantee payouts will rise over time. That’s why some investors prefer buying into so-called dividend aristocrats. Companies in the S&P 500 have long histories of raising their dividends over time.
  • Dividend quality. This applies to the quality and creditworthiness of the stocks owned by the ETF. If the fund owns riskier companies with lower credit ratings, then it’s more likely that the value of the fund will decline, taking your total return with it. As a general rule of thumb. avoid funds using riskier companies to boost yields.

The highest-yielding dividend ETFs may feature more volatile yields over time and less certainty of maintaining those yields. It’s not uncommon for the highest-yielding stocks to suffer greatly during market declines. That is why it’s important to consider current yield, dividend growth and quality.

Traditional dividend ETFs own companies that don’t grow as fast as the overall market. For this reason, investors need to understand the trade-off they might be making when seeking yield versus appreciation through rising stock prices.

If your goal is simply to earn the most with your money, you might opt for stocks positioned to grow in value more and then sell off shares as you need to for income.

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Types of Dividend ETFs

There are many categories of dividend ETFs, spanning index funds, regions and quality dividend stocks like the dividend aristocrats. Others focus on stock market sectors known for offering high yields, like REITs, utilities or on preferred stocks.

Below, we highlight some examples of leading dividend ETFs for each major category. Keep in mind that these are not endorsements of any particular fund. They’re just meant to highlight the types of funds you might research as you seek out the best dividend ETF for you.

  • Diversified Dividend ETFs. High-dividend ETFs include companies that make higher than average dividend payments. Typically, companies that pay higher dividends might have greater risk profiles and may be subject to more price volatility.
  • International Dividend ETFs. International dividend ETFs work much like their domestic high dividend counterparts; they simply invest in international companies instead of those based in the U.S. This kind of international exposure can further diversify your portfolio. Their dividend payments may be taxed at a higher rate than U.S. companies. Check with a tax professional if you intend to rely heavily on international dividend ETFs.
  • Real Estate Dividend ETFs. Real estate investment trusts own shares of companies that buy or loan money to income-producing real estate. By law, REITs must pay 90% of their income to shareholders, making them top choices for those seeking rich dividend payouts.
  • Dividend Aristocrat ETFs. Dividend aristocrats are the gold standard of dividend-paying stocks, making them a go-to for people looking for consistent, steady dividend income.

Dividends ETFs and Taxes

Dividend ETFs are taxed similarly to the underlying securities within the fund. Even if you reinvest dividends, they still count as taxable income. Most investors will receive tax forms, like a 1099-DIV, that explain whether their dividends are qualified or ordinary.

Qualified dividends are taxed at lower rates than ordinary income, such as long-term capital gains. They tend to come from U.S.-based companies. Ordinary dividends are taxed at your regular income tax rate. International companies are more likely to pay ordinary dividends.

Who Should Invest in Dividend ETFs?

Dividend ETFs may appeal to more conservative investors or income investors who would like to generate cash flow. Aggressive investors looking to maximize their total returns may be better served by growth ETFs, which provide the potential for higher capital gains.

In addition to income, dividend ETFs also provide the potential for capital appreciation. By investing in dividend-paying companies, these funds benefit from both earnings growth and dividend payments.

Dividend ETFs may also be a good option for investors who want exposure to a diversified portfolio of dividend-paying stocks but do not have the time or expertise to research and pick individual stocks themselves.

However, it’s important to note that dividend ETFs are not risk-free investments. Like any investment, dividend ETFs can be affected by market volatility and other factors. Additionally, companies can reduce or suspend their dividend payments at any time, which can impact the performance of the ETF.

Benefits of Investing in Dividend ETFs

Dividend ETFs offer a range of benefits, including:

  • Diversification. Dividend ETFs own potentially hundreds of stocks and other securities, providing easy diversification and reducing the risk of exposure to individual assets.
  • Low fees. ETFs typically have lower expense ratios than mutual funds or other investment vehicles, which can save investors money over time.
  • Liquidity. Since dividend ETFs are traded on exchanges like individual stocks, it’s easy to buy and sell them. There’s typically a high level of demand for dividend funds, which makes them a highly liquid investment.
  • Transparency. The investment companies that manage dividend ETFs are required to disclose their holdings on a daily basis, giving you plenty of transparency into the fund’s composition and strategy.
  • Tax efficiency. ETFs are considered to be more tax-efficient than mutual funds because ETFs do not have to sell securities to satisfy redemptions, which can trigger capital gains taxes.

Overall, these benefits make dividend ETFs a good choice for income investors. However, it’s always important to do your own research and understand the risks before investing in any security.

Dividend ETF FAQs

What is a dividend?

Dividends are how companies distribute earnings to their shareholders. Dividend payments come in the form of cash or stock, and each share of stock you own may provide you with a specific dividend payout benefit.

Public companies are not required to pay dividends. Both private and public companies may pay dividends, they can decide whether to pay them monthly, quarterly or annually.

How are dividends taxed?

When it comes to taxation, there are two classes of dividends: qualified dividends and ordinary dividends. Qualified dividends are taxed under the capital gains tax rules, while ordinary dividends are taxed under the regular income tax rules.

Qualified dividends come from U.S. or foreign companies trading on major U.S. stock exchanges, or companies that trade in countries with a U.S. tax treaty. Ordinary dividends are issued by foreign companies that don’t meet qualified dividend criteria, or that come from savings or checking accounts, REITs, employee stock benefits or tax-exempt companies.

What is a dividend yield?

Dividend yield is how investors understand the relative value of a company’s dividend payments. To calculate dividend yield, divide a stock’s annual dividend amount by its current share price. Dividend yield is always conveyed as a percentage.

The dividend yield is a good way to compare the value of dividends offered by different companies. For example, a stock with higher quarterly dividends might seem enticing, but if the stock price is also high, it will pull down the overall dividend yield.

How do you calculate dividend yield?

Dividend yield is calculated by dividing the stock’s annual dividend amount by its current share price.

For example, consider a stock that’s currently trading at $10 per share, and that pays quarterly dividends of 10 cents per share. That’s a dividend of 40 cents for the year. To figure out the dividend yield for the stock, you divide 40 cents by $10 per share, giving you a dividend yield of 4%.

What does ex-dividend mean?

The ex-dividend date is the date by which you must own a dividend stock to be eligible to receive the payment. The ex-dividend date is important to know if you’re hoping to receive dividends from a stock as an investor.

The ex-dividend date is usually one business day before the company that issues the stock checks its stockholder roster to determine who is eligible for dividends. Buying shares of the stock on or after the ex-dividend date will disqualify you from receiving the dividend payment.

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Forbes Advisor adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. To the best of our knowledge, all content is accurate as of the date posted, though offers contained herein may no longer be available. The opinions expressed are the author’s alone and have not been provided, approved, or otherwise endorsed by our partners.

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