Four exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have been top performers in 2017 with momentum expected to carry over into 2018. These ETFs focus on income and exclusively buy U.S. equities. They are top performers in the U.S. dividend category as December 19, 2017, providing reliable returns with high levels of income from dividends. They are also some of the largest funds by assets in the category as well.

These selections are intended to be considered as part of a stable and diversified portfolio. They were chosen based on strategy focus, performance and assets under management. All data is as of December 19, 2017 unless otherwise noted.

WisdomTree U.S. Quality Dividend Growth Fund (DGRW)

Issuer: WisdomTree

Price: $41.70

Average Volume: 143,874

One-Year Return: 26.77%

Annual Dividend Yield: 1.69%

Assets under Management: $1.94 billion

Fee: 0.28%

DGRW seeks high income through investment in U.S. dividend paying growth stocks. The Fund uses an index replication strategy. It seeks to track the performance of the WisdomTree U.S. Quality Dividend Growth Index.

For the one-year period through December 19, 2017, it had a return of 26.77%. The Fund is trading at $41.71 with a trailing 12-month dividend yield of 1.69%.

iShares Core Dividend Growth ETF (DGRO)

Issuer: iShares

Price: $34.89

Average Volume: 398,778

One-Year Return: 22.41%

Annual Dividend Yield: 1.92%

Assets under Management: $2.61 billion

Fee: 0.08%

DGRO seeks high income by investing in dividend paying U.S. equities. The Fund uses an index replication strategy to match the returns of the Morningstar U.S. Dividend Growth Index. The Index invests in stocks with steady dividend growth. Investments are broadly allocated across industries with financials as the top sector at 19.33%.

First Trust NASDAQ Rising Dividend Achievers ETF (RDVY)

Issuer: First Trust

Price: $30.15

Average Volume: 68,003

One-Year Return: 22.07%

Annual Dividend Yield: 1.18%

Assets under Management: $347.61 million

Fee: 0.50%

The First Trust NASDAQ Rising Dividend Achievers ETF is a tracker fund that seeks to replicate the performance and returns of the NASDAQ U.S. Rising Dividend Achievers Index. The Index is managed by NASDAQ OMX. Considerations for inclusion in the Index include three-year and five-year dividend growth rates as well as dividend positioning for the future.

The Fund has 50 holdings. For the one-year period it had a return of 22.07%. Its top sector allocation is financial with 29.93% of the portfolio. Top holdings in the Fund include Intel Corporation, Williams-Sonoma, Inc., Best Buy Co., Inc., Alaska Air Group, Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company.               .

Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG)

Issuer: Vanguard

Price: $102.45

Average Volume: 491,620

One-Year Return: 21.03%

Annual Dividend Yield: 1.93%

Assets under Management: $27.30 billion

Fee: 0.08%

The Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF is an index replication fund. It seeks to track the NASDAQ U.S. Dividend Achievers Select Index. This Index is used exclusively by Vanguard. It includes securities from the NASDAQ U.S. Broad Dividend Achievers Index with at least ten consecutive years of increasing annual dividend payments.

The Fund has 179 holdings. For the one-year period it had a return of 21.03%. As of November 30, 2017, its top sector allocation was industrials. Its top holdings were Microsoft Corp., Johnson & Johnson and PepsiCo Inc.

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