VYM vs SPY
Both SPY and VYM are ETFs. SPY has a higher 5-year return than VYM (18.02% vs 12.1%). SPY has a higher expense ratio than VYM (0.09% vs 0.06%). Below is the comparison between SPY and VYM.
|Segment||Equity: U.S. - Large Cap||Equity: U.S. - High Dividend Yield|
|Family||State Street Global Advisors||Vanguard|
|Management Style||passive (index-based)||passive (index-based)|
|Underlying Index||S&P 500||FTSE High Dividend Yield Index Net TR US RIC|
The Trust seeks investment results that, before expenses, generally correspond to the price and yield performance of the component common stocks of the S&P 500 Index.
SPY performance & returns
SPY expense ratio is 0.09%.
Top 10 Holdings (27.96% of Total Assets)
|Facebook Inc A||FB||2.33%|
|Alphabet Inc A||GOOGL||1.79%|
|Alphabet Inc Class C||GOOG||1.76%|
|Berkshire Hathaway Inc Class B||BRK.B||1.48%|
|Johnson & Johnson||JNJ||1.33%|
|Procter & Gamble Co||PG||1.26%|
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The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of common stocks of companies that are characterized by high dividend yield. The Fund attempts to replicate the FTSE High Dividend Yield Index by investing substantially all of its assets in the stocks that make up the Index.
VYM performance & returns
VYM expense ratio is 0.06%.
Top 10 Holdings (24.72% of Total Assets)
|Johnson & Johnson||JNJ||3.75%|
|Procter & Gamble Co||PG||3.47%|
|JPMorgan Chase & Co||JPM||3.08%|
|Verizon Communications Inc||VZ||2.45%|
|Comcast Corp Class A||CMCSA||1.99%|
|Merck & Co Inc||MRK||1.97%|
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Better Buy: Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF vs. SPDR S&P Dividend ETF
As stock market volatility persists, many investors are turning to dividend-paying stocks to fight the roller-coaster ride. While these investors may be lagging S&P 500 index returns, the Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF and SPDR S&P Dividend ETF have provided a smoother ride so far this year than the broader-based market index. While both exchange traded funds (ETFs) aim to achieve a similar goal, a few differences could have a bearing on which one you choose to buy.
A summary of our candidates
Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (NYSEMKT:VYM)
SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (NYSEMKT:SDY)
Fund total net assets
Annual expense ratio
Number of stocks in fund
Fund turnover rate
Date of inception
A passively managed portfolio of large U.S. companies paying an above-average dividend yield. Holdings are market-cap weighted.
The fund screens for U.S. high-yield dividend stocks that have increased their payout for at least 20 years. Holdings are weighted according to yield, and rebalanced quarterly.
Data source: Vanguard and State Street Global Advisors. Chart by author.
Image source: Getty Images.
The first difference between these two funds is cost. True to Vanguard's form, the High Dividend Yield ETF keeps costs at a minimum by passively following a high-dividend payer index.
SPDR, on the other hand, manages its fund by rebalancing the holdings quarterly according to yield. That boosts costs somewhat, although at a mere 0.35% annual fee, it still is minimal. SPDR's offering has fewer stocks in the mix, a slightly lower dividend yield, and a higher turnover rate in the portfolio.
SPDR's screening process also makes for a different composition of the fund itself. While there is some overlap, the top 10 holdings of each fund help tell the story. Vanguard's assets are much more concentrated into fewer companies, whereas SPDR spreads its assets more evenly across the stocks making up the fund.
Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF
SPDR S&P Dividend ETF
Percentage of Portfolio
Percentage of Portfolio
Tanger Factory Outlet Centers
Johnson & Johnson
National Retail Properties
International Business Machines
Data source: Vanguard and State Street Global Advisors. Top 10 holdings as of June 6, 2018.
Going back to the earliest comparable date between these two funds shows that, while their compositions differ, actual performance is close. Total return -- which measures ETF price appreciation plus dividends paid, and accounts for the annual fee -- is a few percentage points higher on the SPDR S&P Dividend ETF.
Data by YCharts.
Which is better?
SPDR is not a pure yield play. It screens for companies that consistently increase dividends, which puts more emphasis on the stocks that have greater potential for share-price appreciation. Thus, if it's total return you're after, SPDR has been the better bet, as it's provided a little higher payoff over the years. If maximizing dividends and/or minimizing capital gains taxes is what you need, though, Vanguard's approach is a better option, with only single-digit turnover in its holdings each year and a bigger annual dividend yield.
However, one concern worth noting is that, because Vanguard's fund is concentrated into fewer holdings -- for instance, Microsoft currently makes up over 7% of the portfolio -- it could be more susceptible to price fluctuations if particular individual stocks get volatile. SPDR's offering has fewer holdings overall, but its ETF minimizes overconcentration into any single company.
That being said, the Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF and SPDR S&P Dividend ETF are both good options if a dividend-oriented index is what you're after. The one that you choose will largely come down to your tax situation and whether dividend or capital gains taxes make more sense.
5 Vanguard Dividend ETFs Perfect For Any Portfolio
Vanguard is one of the ETF industry's powerhouses thanks to its diversified lineup of fund offerings and ultra-thin expense ratios. That makes it a perfect landing spot for dividend seekers looking to maximize their yields through long-term investing.
Most of their its ETFs are broadly-focused, but the dividend ETF lineup is top notch. It's not as extensive as those of other issuers, but the focus on both dividend growth and high yield means they can almost single-handedly fill in this important segment for most portfolios.
If you're looking to add a high quality dividend ETF to your existing portfolio, here are 5 Vanguard funds that have you covered.
Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG)
With $60 billion in assets, VIG is the largest ETF in the marketplace specifically targeting dividend stocks. Its objective is quite simple. It targets U.S. stocks that have at least 10 consecutive years of increased annual dividend payments and market cap weights them. REITs are excluded from the fund's index.
Over the course of the past 15 years, VIG has nearly kept pace with the broader market, despite the equity market's preference for large-cap growth. VIG maintains much more of a low volatility demeanor, while tilting heavier towards cyclical and defensive sectors.
The returns are even more impressive given that VIG has historically been around 10-15% less volatile than the S&P 500 over time. VIG has a current yield of 1.7%.
Vanguard International Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIGI)
This, of course, is the international version of VIG. The methodology is essentially the same with the one exception that it only requires a 7-year dividend growth streak instead of 10. Qualifying stocks can come from both developed and emerging markets outside of the United States. The portfolio is also market cap weighted.
There's not quite as much history here, so we have to take the shorter-term historical results with a grain of salt. VIGI has done relatively well. Its mixture of both developed and emerging markets stocks makes it difficult to compare to either index directly, but it's not terribly surprising that it falls somewhere in the middle. Like VIG, VIGI is also comparatively less risky than the broader indexes and has a trailing 12-month dividend yield of 1.1%.
Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (VYM)
VYM is characterized by its focus on stocks with above average dividend yields, but it's not terribly targeted. The fund's index starts with a broad U.S. equity universe, rank orders the stocks by forecasted dividend yield and simply includes the top half in the index. Like VIG, it also excludes REITs and market cap weights the qualifying components.
The focus on high yielding large-cap stocks means that this ETF is tilted towards value-oriented defensive stocks, exactly the type of stock that the financial markets, for the most part, haven't really rewarded. With its largest allocations going towards financials, consumer staples, healthcare and industrial stocks, the tech and growth underweights have noticeably impacted performance. If the markets finally give up their sentiment for growth over an extended period, VYM will likely be positioned to do well. The fund has a current yield of 2.7%.
Vanguard International High Dividend Yield ETF (VYMI)
And here's the international version of VYM! VYMI uses a carbon copy strategy of VYM with the obvious exception that it targets developed and emerging markets stocks with above average yields.
VYMI has had some of the same issues that VYM has had in that value-oriented dividend payers have largely been shunned in favor of shiny growth stocks. VYMI is a more unusual case since there isn't much risk mitigation going on despite its tendency to hold lower volatility stocks. Investors looking to diversify their portfolios overseas, however, will probably find the 2.9% yield attractive.
Vanguard Real Estate ETF (VNQ)
With nearly $40 billion in assets, VNQ is easily the largest real estate ETF in the marketplace and is often the default option for those looking for REIT exposure. It's well diversified holding exposure to industrial complexes, office buildings, hotels, malls, hospitals, apartments and other commercial properties.
With yields remaining incredibly low, VNQ's current yield of 2.8% isn't high by historical standards, but it is attractive among its diversified REIT-focused peers. Other REITs focused mainly on residential real estate or other narrowly focused niches may offer much higher yields, but this is probably a better choice for those looking for broad real estate exposure and a nice yield.
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