There are a few certainties in the world of investing. One is that dividends are a good. Another is that international companies generally pay better dividends than their U.S. counterparts. Next, stock-picking in foreign markets isn't always easy for U.S. investors.

IN PICTURES: Learn To Invest In 10 Steps

If you find yourself on the hunt for global dividends (and you should be), don't worry. There are plenty of exchange traded funds (ETFs) to help you garner fat yields without having to devote days of research on foreign stocks. With that, we decided to look for several international ETFs that should appeal to income investors. We sought out ETFs that hold high-quality stocks with reliable dividend histories that focused on sectors that are typically viewed as safe dividend bets.

  • WisdomTree International Utilities ETF (NYSE:DBU) Yield: 3.9%

  • iShares S&P Global Telecommunications ETF (NYSE:IXP) Yield: 5%

  • WisdomTree International LargeCap Dividend ETF (NYSE:DOL) Yield: 8%

Utilities: Always a Dividend Lover's Dream
The utilities sector, regardless of home domicile, is usually a favorite of dividend hunters. U.S. utilities pay good dividends with strong yields. International utilities often pay better dividends with comparable or stronger yields. From a competitive standpoint, international utilities are much like their U.S. brethren. They operate as near-monopolies and generate predictable, steady profits and that results in great dividends.

That's what makes the WisdomTree International Utilities ETF so appealing. Familiar names include National Grid (NYSE:NGG) of the U.K. and Germany's RWE AG. DBU is small compared to its peer group, with less than $39 million in assets (the average comparable ETF has over $258 million in assets) and the ETF is up just over 2% year-to-date. Then again, investors bet on utilities to get paid, not for capital appreciation, and that makes DBU's yield of 3.9% all the more attractive.

Put a Call into this ETF
The iShares S&P Global Telecommunications ETF isn't a pure international play as AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) can be found among the top 10 holdings, but like utilities, telecoms are another surefire dividend and yield play. Other top holdings include Mexico's America Movil (NYSE:AMX), China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) and France Telecom (NYSE:FTE), all fair yielders on their own. The focus on quality names is one reason to like IXP, which has $244 million in assets. IXP has a fair expense ratio of 0.48% and yields a decent 5%. If you're looking to get paid from domestic and international telecoms, IXP may be the way to go.

A Nice Sector Mix
The WisdomTree International LargeCap Dividend ETF doesn't focus on one specific sector, but it does have a bias toward some of the higher quality global dividend stocks. China Mobile can be found here, as can hefty oil yielders BP (NYSE:BP) and Total (NYSE:TOT). Nestle and Banco Sander Chile (NYSE:SAN) round out a nice sector mix among the top holdings.

Dividend stocks have a tendency to outperform those that don't pay their shareholders, and international stocks have been hot this year, so it's no surprise DOL is up 21% year-to-date. DOL is thinly-traded and has just $117.3 million in assets, but those factors shouldn't dissuade you. If anything, the 8% yield should entice you.

The Bottom Line: Span the Globe to Get Paid
Let's make this easy: International dividends are sure to provide a jolt to your portfolio, but there's no need to make yourself crazy looking for them. This trio of dividend-paying ETFs is ideal for the income investor with a long-term time horizon. (For more, check out our Investopedia Special Feature: Exchange Traded Funds.)

Use the Investopedia Stock Simulator to trade the stocks mentioned in this stock analysis, risk free!

Related Articles
  1. Professionals

    Are ETFs a Good Fit for 401(k) Plans?

    The popularity of ETFs among investors and advisors continues to grow. But are they a good fit for 401(k) plans?
  2. Stock Analysis

    Will WYNN Continue to Rally?

    Wynn Resorts has experienced a rally recently. Will it remain a good bet?
  3. Stock Analysis

    Don't Be Fooled by the Market's Recent Rally

    The bulls won for a bit in early October, but will bears have the last laugh?
  4. Stock Analysis

    Will Twitter's Stock Find its Wings Soon?

    Twitter is an enigma to many investors, but its story is pretty straightforward.
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The Top Vanguard Emerging Market ETF

    Learn why growth investors should consider investing in VWO's portfolio of emerging market stocks.
  6. Stock Analysis

    8 Solid Utility Stocks for a Bear Market

    If you're seeking modest appreciation, generous dividend payments and resiliency, consider these eight utility stocks.
  7. Investing Basics

    How to Pick the Best Muni Bonds and Muni Bond ETFs

    Municipal bonds are a good addition to a diversified portfolio as long as you choose correctly based on population and local economic trends.
  8. Stock Analysis

    Why Phillips 66 (PSX) is a Solid Long-Term Bet

    Here's why Phillips 66 will likely remain one of the world’s largest and most profitable companies for a long time to come.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Top 3 Emerging Markets Bond Mutual Funds

    Discover detailed analysis of the top three mutual funds offering exposure to the emerging markets bonds, and learn about the suitability of these funds.
  10. Stock Analysis

    3 Resilient Oil Stocks for a Down Market

    Stuck on oil? Take a look at these six stocks—three that present risk vs. three that offer some resiliency.
  1. Can mutual funds invest in IPOs?

    Mutual funds can invest in initial public offerings (IPOS). However, most mutual funds have bylaws that prevent them from ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How do dividends affect retained earnings?

    When a company issues a cash dividend to its shareholders, the retained earnings listed on the balance sheet are reduced ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital?

    The difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital is investors have already paid in full for paid-up ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    A convertible bond represents a hybrid security that has bond and equity features; this type of bond allows the conversion ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Does index trading increase market vulnerability?

    The rise of index trading may increase the overall vulnerability of the stock market due to increased correlations between ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What does a high turnover ratio signify for an investment fund?

    If an investment fund has a high turnover ratio, it indicates it replaces most or all of its holdings over a one-year period. ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!