The 9 Best High-Yield ETFs to Buy Now

The best high-yield ETFs show that there's no shortage of ways to balance risk and reward in the quest for better-than-average income.

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Like all investing strategies, high-yield ETFs are a bit of a balancing act.

On one hand, stocks that deliver tremendous yield can be enticing because of "guaranteed" paydays that are two times, three times or even five times the S&P 500. This is especially true in an environment of extreme market volatility like we've seen in recent years.

But the truth is there are no guarantees on Wall Street. And amid high interest-rate environment we're in, investors that once saw no alternative to stocks amid a lengthy stretch of low interest rates have been rotating back into bonds. And why not, considering the S&P 500 yields just under 1.6% at present.

However, it's important to remember that in the long term, the stock market always trends higher. For investors thinking about years and decades instead of just the next few months, the best high-yield ETFs still have a lot to offer because they give potential upside as well as a modest stream of income. 

There's more risk than U.S. government bonds, to be sure, but there is also much bigger potential for reward. Nonetheless, it's always important to "pop the hood" and see how these high-dividend ETFs fit in with your overall portfolio and your personal risk tolerance.

With that in mind, here are nine of the best high-yield ETFs to buy now. Each of the high-dividend ETFs should provide you with a few examples of the alternatives that are out there, and how each strategy balances its risks with potential rewards. With the average yield of the S&P 500 Index at just under 1.6% at present, the funds featured here are some of the best ETFs to buy for dividend yields, each well ahead of the game, with yields much higher than the broader market.


Data is as of Aug. 21. Dividend yields represent the trailing 12-month yield, which is a standard measure for equity funds.

Jeff Reeves
Contributing Writer,

Jeff Reeves writes about equity markets and exchange-traded funds for Kiplinger. A veteran journalist with extensive capital markets experience, Jeff has written about Wall Street and investing since 2008. His work has appeared in numerous respected finance outlets, including CNBC, the Fox Business Network, the Wall Street Journal digital network, USA Today and CNN Money.