This ETF offers exposure to dividend-paying U.S. equities, making SCHD a potentially useful tool for either enhancing current returns derived from the equity portion of a portfolio or for scaling back risk exposure within a portfolio. While there are dozens of funds offering exposure to dividend-paying stocks, SCHD offers a somewhat unique approach to this strategy. The underlying index methodology requires a long track record of distributions, meaning that this product is unlikely to include small, speculative firms that are offering an attractive distribution yield because their stock price has been depressed. The methodology also considers multiple metrics, including dividend growth and dividend yield, resulting in a portfolio that should offer a substantial upgrade in payout compared to the broader market.
Given the methodology employed by this fund, SCHD can be used in a number of different ways. Though the portfoli ois somewhat shallow, this fund certainly could be used as a core holding for achieving U.S. equity exposure; it could also be used as a complement to a more broadly-based fund to derive greater yield.
Like most Schwab ETFs, SCHD is extremely competitive from a cost perspective; this ETF is cheaper than the vast majority of other products in the All Cap Equities ETFdb Category. Further enhancing the appeal to certain cost conscious investors is the ability to trade this product commission free within Schwab accounts; that feature may have appeal to investors looking to keep a lid on trading-related fees.