Is SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY) a Strong ETF Right Now?

Launched on 11/08/2005, the SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY) is a smart beta exchange traded fund offering broad exposure to the Style Box - Large Cap Value category of the market.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

Market cap weighted indexes were created to reflect the market, or a specific segment of the market, and the ETF industry has traditionally been dominated by products based on this strategy.

Because market cap weighted indexes provide a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way of replicating market returns, they work well for investors who believe in market efficiency.

But, there are some investors who would rather invest in smart beta funds; these funds track non-cap weighted strategies, and are a strong option for those who prefer choosing great stocks in order to beat the market.

Based on specific fundamental characteristics, or a combination of such, these indexes attempt to pick stocks that have a better chance of risk-return performance.

Even though this space provides many choices to investors--think one of the simplest methodologies like equal-weighting and more complicated ones like fundamental and volatility/momentum based weighting--not all have been able to deliver first-rate results.

Fund Sponsor & Index

The fund is managed by State Street Global Advisors, and has been able to amass over $20.57 billion, which makes it one of the largest ETFs in the Style Box - Large Cap Value. This particular fund, before fees and expenses, seeks to match the performance of the S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Index.

The S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Index measures the performance of the highest dividend yielding S&P Composite 1500 Index constituents that have followed a managed-dividends policy of consistently increasing dividends every year for at least 20 consecutive years.

Cost & Other Expenses

Investors should also pay attention to an ETF's expense ratio. Lower cost products will produce better results than those with a higher cost, assuming all other metrics remain the same.

Operating expenses on an annual basis are 0.35% for SDY, making it on par with most peer products in the space.

SDY's 12-month trailing dividend yield is 2.57%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

While ETFs offer diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk, a deep look into a fund's holdings is a valuable exercise. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

SDY's heaviest allocation is in the Industrials sector, which is about 22.70% of the portfolio. Its Consumer Staples and Financials round out the top three.

When you look at individual holdings, 3m Co (MMM) accounts for about 3.20% of the fund's total assets, followed by Realty Income Corp (O) and Intl Business Machines Corp (IBM).

SDY's top 10 holdings account for about 21.17% of its total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has gained about 2.54% and was up about 8.05% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 03/15/2024), respectively. SDY has traded between $110.20 and $129.13 during this last 52-week period.

The ETF has a beta of 0.86 and standard deviation of 14.93% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 124 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

SPDR S&P Dividend ETF is an excellent option for investors seeking to outperform the Style Box - Large Cap Value segment of the market. There are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider as well.

IShares Russell 1000 Value ETF (IWD) tracks Russell 1000 Value Index and the Vanguard Value ETF (VTV) tracks CRSP U.S. Large Cap Value Index. IShares Russell 1000 Value ETF has $54.53 billion in assets, Vanguard Value ETF has $112.73 billion. IWD has an expense ratio of 0.19% and VTV charges 0.04%.

Investors looking for cheaper and lower-risk options should consider traditional market cap weighted ETFs that aim to match the returns of the Style Box - Large Cap Value.

Bottom Line

To learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit Zacks ETF Center.

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SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY): ETF Research Reports

International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) : Free Stock Analysis Report

3M Company (MMM) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Realty Income Corporation (O) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Vanguard Value ETF (VTV): ETF Research Reports

iShares Russell 1000 Value ETF (IWD): ETF Research Reports

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Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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