There's a sweet spot in the market most exchange-traded funds are missing, according to a new report.
The study by Global X Funds, which manages some $1.7 billion in assets, makes a case for dividend-paying stocks doing better than their nonpaying counterparts, and shows that the dividend range with the best returns often isn't included in indexes and funds.
"Stocks with significantly high-dividend yields in the range of 10 to 17 percent in our study outperformed non-paying stocks convincingly in both bull and bear markets," the report released Monday said.
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The 10-year analysis through 2012 found that "at dividend yields higher than 17 percent, performance started to decline, but is still impressive with the second-best returns."
It also said the 18 ETFs on the market focused on high dividends pay an average yield of 3 percent to 4 percent, suggesting that they're missing the most attractive dividend segment.
This is "in line with the general market perception that high-yield stocks usually give low total returns at high risk," a perception the report aims to refute.
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"Investors often have concerns about dividend-paying stocks, especially those with high yields," the report said, citing perceptions that high dividends are only paid by companies at a "mature" or "declining" phase and therefore shares have limited potential to rise in price.
The report is in support of Global X Funds' SuperDividend ETF, which provided a 7.5 percent dividend yield.
The top five dividend-focused products by asset volume are Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF, iShares Dow Jones Select Dividend ETF, SPDR S&P Dividend ETF, WisdomTree Emerging Markets Equity Income Fund, and Vanguard High-Dividend Yield ETF.
—By Matt Twomey; Follow @Matt_Twomey on Twitter.