DEFINITION of 'Preferred Stock ETF'
An exchange-traded fund that either tracks a preferred stock index or invests primarily in preferred shares. A preferred stock ETF appeals to investors who desire above-average yields, especially in a low interest rate environment. The advantages of a preferred stock ETF include diversification and low management fees.
BREAKING DOWN 'Preferred Stock ETF'
Preferred shares are hybrid instruments that have both debt and equity features. Preferred shareholders rank ahead of common shareholders in terms of dividends and claims on assets, but their claims are subordinate to those of debt-holders. Preferred share dividends are also taxed favorably in a number of jurisdictions. Unlike common shares, preferred shares have little participation in the upside potential of the issuer, which means that preferred stock ETFs are likely to significantly underperform equity ETFs when stock markets are rising strongly.