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Monday, August 3, 2009

3 High-Yield ETFs You May Be Missing

Are you craving more risk and the potential for higher yields in your investments? There are several overlooked high-yield exchange traded funds (ETFs) that are gaining as investors become more risk-tolerant.

Investors can use ETFs for a number of reasons, including to capture capital appreciation and above-average dividends, writes Matthew D. McCall for Seeking Alpha. McCall provides a few ETFs he believes will have the right amount of performance and dividend yields. We should note, too, that this is by no means a complete list of all high-yielding ETFs with good performance – there are many available, so be sure to look around.

SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield Bond (JNK), currently up 23.8% year-to-date, follows corporate high-yield bonds, otherwise known as junk. The ETF also pays out a monthly dividend that comes out to an annual yield of 13%. When the economy goes back to normal, undervalued risky assets could begin to attract more attention.


iShares S&P U.S. Preferred Stock Index (PFF), currently up 27.4% year-to-date, tracks preferred shares of companies, primarily in the financial sector. Annual dividend yield is 11%. The ETF is a good way to tamp down some risk that comes with including the financial sector in an investment portfolio.


Market Vectors High-Yield Muni ETF (HYD), currently up 7.1% in the last three months. HYD is a relatively new ETF that invests mainly in high yield municipal bonds. But around 25% is in investment-grade bonds. HYD has a 30-day SEC yield of 7.16%, which is better than the taxable bonds. Those in the 28% tax bracket will have tax-equivalent yield of 9.94%, and those in the 35% tax bracket will have as much as 11.02%.


It should be noted that HYD is ideal for a taxable account and people in a high tax bracket. JNK and PFF are better for tax-deferred accounts, McCall says.

Always be sure to watch the trend lines first to find areas that have entered into a potential long-term uptrend. Then explore the characteristics of the funds, including volume, assets and yield.

Disclosure I am long HYD, JNK, PFF shares.

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