Dividend ETFs: A Passive Way to Invest in Dividends

We’ve discussed the virtues of dividend investing and even highlighted a good place to start if you want to invest in individual stocks – the Dividend Aristocrats. Next, I want to highlight a passive index style of dividend ETF investing. ETFs aim to follow the performance of an index. Like all ETFs, dividend ETFs typically carry low expense ratios. And there are ways to execute commission-free ETF trades through an online investment account, so that you do not pay when you buy or sell an ETF.

You do lose a little bit of freedom in choosing individual stocks, but that might not necessarily be a bad thing, as most of us are horrible stock pickers.

The positives for ETF investing vs. individual stocks include:

  1. Instant diversification, which can be relatively important as some of the highest yielding dividend stocks are the riskiest.
  2. Lower trading fees vs. individual stock investing if you execute commission-free ETF trading.
  3. A passive index investing style – simply add to your position when you have additional funds.
  4. Less record keeping on dividends for tax purposes. Owning a few ETFs cuts down on having to track dividend payouts on numerous stocks.
  5. Tax-efficiency.

Dividend ETF List

To get you started, I thought I’d create a list of some of the top dividend ETFs on the market in to 3 separate categories – domestic, international, and sector. I’ll highlight the name, ticker, yield, and expense ratio of each. Note that the yields and expense ratios may change over time.

And remember, don’t simply chase yields!

Expense ratios and yields are as of 1/28/23, but change frequently, so make sure you do your homework and double check for updates.

Domestic Dividend ETF List

Name & FocusTicker SymbolExpense Ratio30-Day SEC yield (Annualized)
iShares Core High DividendHDV0.08%4.09%
Fidelity High DividendFDVV0.15%3.07%
Fidelity Dividend for Rising RatesFDRR0.15%2.74%
Schwab U.S. Dividend EquitySCHD0.06%3.56%
Vanguard Dividend AppreciationVIG0.06%1.81%
Vanguard High Dividend YieldVYM0.06%3.07%

International Dividend ETF List

I’ve discussed why international diversification is important vs. putting all of your eggs in the U.S. domestic basket.

To that end, there are a number of international and emerging marketing dividend ETFs to choose from.

Sector High Dividend ETF List

There are also a number of sectors that inherently have high dividend payouts – real estate, government and corporate bonds, telecom, and utilities. Here are a few of the most popular dividend ETFs that cover these sectors.

Name & FocusTicker SymbolExpense RatioAnnual Yield
Vanguard Real EstateVNQ0.12%2.71%
Vanguard Global ex-US Real EstateVNQI0.12%3.74%
Vanguard Long-Term Corporate Bond ETFVCLT0.04%5.37%
Vanguard Telecommunication Services ETFVOX0.10%0.83%
Vanguard Utilities ETFVPU0.10%3.40%

Dividend ETF Discussion:

  • What are your favorite dividend ETFs?
  • Do you own any of these ETFs?
  • Do you prefer buying dividend ETFs vs. dividend stocks?


  1. Brian
    • Dan
  2. Tomas
  3. PipsToday
  4. Jason

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