Tahoe Market Pulse: Looking at ETFs for the long term | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Market Pulse: Looking at ETFs for the long term

David Vomund
Special to the Bonanza

Depending on your age and time horizon, investing during these last few years has either been very difficult or very easy.

The Fed's zero interest rate policy has been difficult on seniors and those who rely on investments for consistent income. Most fixed-income instruments don't pay enough. We've offered our solution using preferred stocks.

For those who are under 60 and are investing for long-term growth, these are very profitable times. Stocks are up 210 percent from the 2009 low. Plus low cost equity ETFs make it very easy for investors to participate. Here are three good buy-and-hold ETFs:

Vanguard is known as the "low cost leader," but last week BlackRock slashed fees and now offers the cheapest equity ETF. The iShares S&P Total Stock Market ETF (ITOT) gives investors broad exposure to the U.S. stock market for an incredibly low 0.03 percent annual fee.

In other words, a $100,000 investment will give you exposure to small and large-cap stocks and will only cost $30. Amazing.

Historically, companies that pay and increase dividends each year have outperformed the S&P 500 with lower volatility. That's especially true if you limit the choices to large-cap stocks.

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That's why I like ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats (NOBL). This ETF owns about 50 of the S&P 500 companies with the longest track records of year-over-year dividend growth (usually 25 years or more).

The Consumer Staples sector represents one-quarter of the fund's holdings. The one downside of this fund is its 0.35 percent management fee. Given the low turnover, the expense ratio should be less.

A bit more growth oriented is Vanguard's Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG). It holds companies (even ones outside of the S&P 500) that have increased their dividends for at least 10-consecutive years.

Like NOBL, Consumer Staples is the largest sector holding. Microsoft, Coca-Cola, and Johnson & Johnson are its three largest holdings. The expense ratio for this ETF is only 0.10 percent.

Of course buying and holding these ETFs for the long run is easier said than done. Investors with the best intensions often end up panicking once the market falls. That's why investors who don't track their broad-based index funds often do better than those that closely follow the market.

David Vomund is an Incline Village-based fee-only Registered Investment Adviser. Information is found at http://www.VomundInvestments.com or by calling 775-832-8555. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Consult your financial adviser before purchasing any security.