2013 was another year full of record-low interest rates, prompting income investors to turn their attention elsewhere. For the past few years, dividend ETFs have been among the hottest in the investing space, as many individuals and institutions have sought the income stream these products offer. While a strong dividend is nice, receiving it from a security that lost ground during the year may not be enough to overcome the damage that was done. On the flip side, a dividend from a security that saw strong gains is an added bonus for many [for more ETF news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Below, we break down the best and worst performing dividend ETFs from 2013. Please note that these are funds that are classified as dividend-focused, and not those that simply pay out a dividend. Funds that were launched this year were excluded from this list as they did not have a full calendar year under their belts.