25 High-Dividend ETFs and How to Invest in Them

Dividend ETFs offer investors regular income and instant diversification without the trouble of hand-picking individual dividend stocks.

Kevin Voigt, Arielle O'SheaOctober 23, 2020
25 High-Dividend ETFs and How to Invest in Them

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Investors looking for regular income often lean on dividend stocks. But an easier way to harness stocks that make regular payments is to purchase dividend exchange-traded funds.

Like much in the world of ETFs, dividend ETFs offer a simple and straightforward solution to getting exposure to a specific investing niche — in this case, stocks that pay a regular dividend. You can take that dividend as income, or reinvest it back into the fund. (See this primer on how dividends work.)

Like a mutual fund, a dividend ETF can contain a selection of stocks that offer broad market exposure, or that focus on certain sectors based on industry, company size or region. Dividend ETFs, like all ETFs, trade like a stock throughout the market day, whereas mutual funds trade after each market close.

List of top 25 high-dividend ETFs

Below is a list of 25 high-dividend ETFs, ordered by dividend yield.

Symbol

Fund

Dividend Yield

Expense Ratio

SDIV

Global X SuperDividend ETF

11.77%

0.59%

DVYE

iShares Emerging Markets Dividend ETF

9.38%

0.49%

SDEM

Global X MSCI SuperDividend Emerging Markets ETF

8.59%

0.66%

DIV

Global X SuperDividend U.S. ETF

8.54%

0.46%

EFAS

Global X MSCI SuperDividend EAFE ETF

7.27%

0.56%

FGD

First Trust Dow Jones Global Select Dividend Index Fund

7.06%

0.59%

DEM

WisdomTree Emerging Markets High Dividend Fund

7.04%

0.63%

DVYA

iShares Asia/Pacific Dividend ETF

6.76%

0.49%

WBIY

WBI Power Factor High Dividend ETF

6.62%

0.70%

FDD

First Trust Stoxx European Select Dividend Index Fund

6.43%

0.58%

IDV

iShares International Select Dividend ETF

6.30%

0.49%

WDIV

SPDR S&P Global Dividend ETF

5.98%

0.40%

FIDI

Fidelity International High Dividend ETF

5.91%

0.39%

RDIV

Invesco S&P Ultra Dividend Revenue ETF

5.88%

0.39%

FID

First Trust S&P International Dividend Aristocrats ETF

5.77%

0.60%

HDAW

Xtrackers MSCI All World ex U.S. High Dividend Yield Equity ETF

5.56%

0.20%

DTH

WisdomTree International High Dividend Fund

5.55%

0.58%

PEY

Invesco High Yield Equity Dividend Achievers ETF

5.52%

0.52%

EDIV

SPDR S&P Emerging Markets Dividend ETF

5.50%

0.49%

DEW

WisdomTree Global High Dividend Fund

5.47%

0.58%

HDEF

Xtrackers MSCI EAFE High Dividend Yield Equity ETF

5.32%

0.20%

VWID

Virtus WMC International Dividend ETF

5.31%

0.49%

VYMI

Vanguard International High Dividend Yield ETF

5.06%

0.27%

DVY

iShares Select Dividend ETF

5.02%

0.39%

FDL

First Trust Morningstar Dividend Leaders Index Fund

5.00%

0.45%

Data current as of Sept. 22, 2020.

» Need a brokerage account? Check out our list of the best brokers for ETF investing

How to invest in dividend ETFs

A dividend ETF typically includes dozens, if not hundreds, of dividend stocks. That instantly provides you with diversification, which means greater safety for your payout. Even if a few of the fund’s stocks cut their dividends, the effect will be minimal on the fund’s overall dividend. A safe payout should be your top consideration in buying any dividend investment.

Here’s how to buy a dividend stock ETF:

1. Find a broadly diversified dividend ETF. You can typically find dividend ETFs by searching for them on your broker's website. (No broker? Here's how to open a brokerage account.)

Probably the safest choice is a low-cost fund that picks dividend stocks from the S&P 500 stock index. That offers a broadly diversified package of top U.S. companies.

2. Analyze the ETF. Make sure the ETF is invested in stocks (also called equities), not bonds. You’ll also want to check the following:

  • The dividend yield. This is how much a company pays out in dividends each year relative to its share price, and is usually expressed as a percentage.

  • 5-year returns. Generally, higher is better.

  • Expense ratio. This is the ETF's annual fee, paid out of your investment in the fund. Look for an expense ratio that is under 0.50%, but lower is better.

  • Stock size. Dividend ETFs can be invested in companies with large, medium or small capitalization (referred to as large caps, mid caps and small caps). Large caps are generally the safest, while small caps are the riskiest.

3. Buy the ETF. You can buy ETFs just like you’d buy a stock, through an online broker. A good approach is to buy them regularly, to take advantage of dollar-cost averaging.

Learn more about sector ETFs:

View Morningstar's expert fund picks

With a 14-day free trial* of Morningstar Premium, you'll get access to independent analysis and ratings of thousands of mutual funds and ETFs.

*Paid subscription thereafter, see Morningstar.com for details.

We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines, and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet’s official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.