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Don’t Bark at These Global Dividend-Payers

Although much of the recent dividend focus has been on U.S. equities and the relevant exchange traded funds, investors may want to consider foreign dividend payers as well. There are a plethora of ETFs with which to do just that.

One is a newer fund that builds on a concept that has proven successful with U.S. equities: The ALPS International Sector Dividend Dogs ETF (IDOG) . IDOG debuted last year as the global equivalent of the ALPS Sector Dividend Dogs ETF (SDOG) . SDOG, which is a spin on the “Dogs of the Dow Theory,” has proven popular investors and now has close to $500 million in assets under management.

For dividend investors looking for mostly developed market ex-U.S. exposure, IDOG merits consideration. ALPS identifies the five highest-yielding securities in the 10 GICS sectors on the last trading day of November. From there, IDOG is rebalanced quarterly in an effort to keep sector weights in the area of 10% and individual holdings at around 2%.

The methodology has worked. Not only was IDOG sporting a trailing 12-month yield as of late October, but the fund has gained over 16% since its June 2013 debut. [9 New Dividend ETFs With Staying Power]

At the country level, IDOG is not an overly risky proposition as Japan, the U.K., Australia and Finland combine for over 51% of the fund’s weight. Just one emerging market, Greece, is found among the ETF’s 17 country exposures. Importantly, 12 of the countries represented in IDOG are European nations, giving the ETF some leverage to recovering equity markets there. Four of the five PIIGS countries are found in IDOG with Ireland being the outlier. [Portugal ETF Starts New Year Off Right]

“Starting with a high quality universe such as the S-Net International Developed Markets Index (ex-Americas) diminishes the likelihood of troubled and financially distressed companies entering the index and allows dividend yield to be the primary selection criterion for the index,” according to ALPS.

To be sure, IDOG is home to some familiar, financially sturdy foreign dividend payers, including Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A), Total (TOT), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Novartis (NVS).

IDOG pays its dividend quarterly and charges and an annual expense ratio of 0.5%. The fund is up 2.5% since the start of 2014.

ALPS International Sector Dividend Dogs ETF