This ETF is one of several products designed to offer exposure to a basket of dividend-paying equities, but one of few that combines this objective with a global scope. SDIV can be used in a variety of different ways within a portfolio; it may have appeal as a core holding as part of a long-term, buy-and-hold strategy that emphasizes current return, and could also be useful for establishing a shorter-term tactical tilt towards a group of equities that offer attractive distributions and a unique risk/return profile.
SDIV is also unique in the weighting methodology employed. While many dividend ETFs use a dividend-weighted or cap-weighted methodology, SDIV is linked to an equal-weighted index. That approach has several potential benefits: it breaks the link between stock price and allocation (a common criticism of cap-weighted funds) and avoids concentration of holdings in a small number of holdings. The equal-weighting approach will also force a disciplined rebalancing of holdings, taking gains from stocks that have performed well recently and moving them into names that have lagged behind.
For investors looking to establish exposure to a dividend-focused fund, SDIV is one of several good options. It makes sense to compare the yields of the potential options, as well as the geographic allocation and the balance of holdings (SDIV will be hard to beat on that front). Other funds with a global focus and emphasis on dividends include DEW and FGD.