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

The SPDR S&P Global Dividend ETF (WDIV) was launched on 05/29/2013, and is a smart beta exchange traded fund designed to offer broad exposure to the World ETFs 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.

Investors who believe in market efficiency should consider market cap indexes, as they replicate market returns in a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way.

On the other hand, some investors who believe that it is possible to beat the market by superior stock selection opt to invest in another class of funds that track non-cap weighted strategies--popularly known as smart beta.

By attempting to pick stocks that have a better chance of risk-return performance, non-cap weighted indexes are based on certain fundamental characteristics, or a combination of such.

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

WDIV is managed by State Street Global Advisors, and this fund has amassed over $200.70 million, which makes it one of the average sized ETFs in the World ETFs. This particular fund seeks to match the performance of the S&P Global Dividend Aristocrats Index before fees and expenses.

The S&P Global Dividend Aristocrats Index measures the performance of high dividend-yield companies included in the S&P Global BMI that have followed a managed-dividends policy of increasing or stable dividends for at least ten consecutive years.

Cost & Other Expenses

Expense ratios are an important factor in the return of an ETF and in the long-term, cheaper funds can significantly outperform their more expensive cousins, other things remaining the same.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.40%, making it one of the cheaper products in the space.

WDIV's 12-month trailing dividend yield is 4.76%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

Even though ETFs offer diversified exposure that minimizes single stock risk, investors should also look at the actual holdings inside the fund. Luckily, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

Looking at individual holdings, A2a Spa (A2A) accounts for about 2.24% of total assets, followed by Adecco Group Ag Reg (ADEN) and Lenovo Group Ltd.

The top 10 holdings account for about 17.51% of total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

The ETF has lost about -0.37% and is up roughly 9.14% so far this year and in the past one year (as of 03/22/2024), respectively. WDIV has traded between $52.34 and $60.53 during this last 52-week period.

The fund has a beta of 0.83 and standard deviation of 13.43% for the trailing three-year period, which makes WDIV a low risk choice in this particular space. With about 116 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


SPDR S&P Global Dividend ETF is a reasonable option for investors seeking to outperform the World ETFs segment of the market. However, there are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider.

IShares MSCI ACWI ETF (ACWI) tracks MSCI All Country World Index and the Vanguard Total World Stock ETF (VT) tracks FTSE Global All Cap Index. IShares MSCI ACWI ETF has $19.55 billion in assets, Vanguard Total World Stock ETF has $35.47 billion. ACWI has an expense ratio of 0.32% and VT charges 0.07%.

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

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 Global Dividend ETF (WDIV): ETF Research Reports

iShares MSCI ACWI ETF (ACWI): ETF Research Reports

Vanguard Total World Stock ETF (VT): 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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