Skip to content
Subscriber Only
ETF Watch

Is This the Beginning of the End for Dividend ETFs?

So far this year, it's all outflows
Armageddon. Well, maybe not quite yet.

Armageddon. Well, maybe not quite yet.

Photographer: Walt Disney Co./Everett Collection

Dividend ETFs are on fire, and not in a good way.

Exchange-traded funds that employ a variety of strategies to invest in dividend-paying stocks have been a no-brainer since the financial crisis, as income investors have confronted artificially low interest rates. But after years of inflows that swelled assets to $100 billion, dividend ETFs have seen an outflow of $2 billion this year. If that isn't quite apocalyptic, it is scary, and if it keeps up, this will be the first year of outflows ever.