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4 EM Dividend ETFs Your Broker Forgot to Mention (HILO, EDIV, DEM)

March 8, 2012 12:39 pm
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The combination of emerging markets and dividends under the umbrella can be an alluring one to be sure but even as the number of emerging markets dividend funds proliferates, some are going relatively unnoticed by investors and the mainstream financial press alike.

Hey, it took a while for the WisdomTree Emerging Markets SmallCap Dividend Fund (NYSE: DGS), a high asset, strong volume fund, to gain widespread acclaim and DGS is one of the older emerging markets dividends ETFs on the market.

Don’t worry if you haven’t heard about all of the EM dividend ETFs on the market because we’re going to attempt to solve that problem right now by exploring four that merit attention in this environment.

SPDR S&P Emerging Markets Dividend ETF (NYSE: EDIV)
Just a couple of weeks removed from its first birthday, the SPDR S&P Emerging Markets Dividend ETF has a couple of reasons to celebrate. Not only has the ETF gained over 11% year-to-date, but it has made quick work of ensuring its survival by raking in almost $300 million in assets under management. Average volume is fair at about 104,000 shares per day. But the number investors really care about is dividend yield and according to the SPDRs Web site, EDIV yields almost 4.4%.

Taiwan, Brazil and China combine for over half of EDIV’s country weight and the ETF has a rival in the form of the newly minted…

iShares Emerging Markets Dividend Index Fund (NYSE: DVYE)
As we noted earlier this week, DVYE and EDIV share the same birthday, though separated by a year. That’s right, DVYE is just a couple of weeks old, but it’s off to a great start with almost $11 million in AUM. There are differences between DVYE and EDIV. For example, the iShares offering is cheaper with an expense ratio of 0.49% compared to EDIV’s fees of 0.59%. Second, Taiwan, Brazil and South Africa represent almost half of DVYE’s weight.

WisdomTree Emerging Markets Equity Income Fund (NYSE: DEM)
To say the WisdomTree Emerging Markets Equity Income Fund goes ignored would not be accurate. It’s hard to ignore a fund of this size, however, to say DEM doesn’t garner the press that an ETF like the Vanguard MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSE: VWO) does would also be a fair assessment.

There’s a lot to like with DEM, including a yield approaching 4% and that the fund is up 12% year-to-date, just be advised Brazil and Taiwan account for over 43% of the fund’s country allocation.

EGShares Low Volatility EM Dividend ETF (NYSE: HILO)
The EGShares Low Volatility EM Dividend ETF has attracted a decent amount of fanfare since its 2011 debut and that might be by virtue of the ETF’s potential appeal to a broad swath of investors. Lots of folks like low volatility. Lots of folks like emerging markets and who doesn’t like dividends? HILO offers them all. The ETF has offered double-digit returns year-to-date and its index yields almost 7%.

Brazil, China, South Africa and Thailand all get double-digit allocations in HILO. In the case of the Thailand exposure, that’s very good news indeed. HILO is one of a small amount of ETFs offering double-digit exposure to Thailand without focusing exclusively on that fast-growing economy.

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