The question was raised in a comment – What if one uses VYM instead of the six individual stocks as recommended in the Seeking Alpha article? Using the same 60 months of historical data for the analysis and the same projections for the S&P 500, below is the QPP analysis where 18% is allocated to VYM as a substitute for the six individual stocks.
The projections are not as strong when one moves to VYM. The projected return drops from 8.02% down to 7.8%, not a huge loss. The standard deviation or portfolio volatility is elevated from 13.39% to 14.16% so that value is also moving in the wrong direction. Diversification Metric moves from 49% down to 32% with the VYM change. That move is also in the wrong direction. Last, and of least importance, is Portfolio Autocorrelation (PA). Here too, the move is from 13.63% with individual stocks up to 17.18% with VYM. We want PA to be as low as possible.
In almost all cases, I find adding in a few highly selected yield oriented stocks will move these four metrics in favor of the investor. If one does not feel competent to select or simply wishes not to be bothered with the effort, it is possible to come up with a combination of ETFs that will rival the numbers produced when individual stocks are worked into the mix of ETFs.