There is a popular investment strategy among passive investors, known as the “Dogs of the Dow”, that has the ability to provide strong returns while minimizing risk…You organize the list of companies from highest yield to lowest, pick the Top 10 highest-yielding stocks, and invest in an equally-weighted portfolio for the year. It seems a little too good to be true – right?
The comments above & below are edited ([ ]) and abridged (…) excerpts from the original article written by David Bar (an MBA Candidate at the DeGroote School of Business with an interest in the mining and marijuana industries and aspirations to work in the investment industry focusing in these sectors.)
The theory behind the strategy is that these stocks have underperformed over the last year, resulting in the high dividend yield (dividend payout/price of stock). However, in the following year, these stocks should outperform relative to the other constituents in the index. As the yield decreases, this is a product of the stock price increasing so the investor not only gets the benefit of a high yield on their investment dollar, but also the benefits of the capital gain.
At the end of the year the investor then reassesses the list, selling off the ‘dogs’ that have either been taken out of the index or have decreased their yield out of the Top 10, then restarts the process.
Between the years 1957 and 2003, when this strategy is applied to the DJIA it produces an average return of 14.3%, which is 3% higher than the Dow itself. Add in the impact of compounding over all of those years and the difference really starts to add up.
The Dogs of the Dow Applied to the TSX 60
So how might this strategy translate into the Canadian marketplace and more specifically the TSX 60? Well in 1987 David Stanley demonstrated just that when he outlined his version entitled Beating the TSX (BTSX). Based on historical performance, this strategy provided an average annual return of 12.47% per year between 1987-2013, compared to 9.89% for the TSX 60 Index.
If you implemented this strategy on the TSX 60 this past December, you would have generated a list of stocks similar to what is outlined in Figure 1, below.
Figure 1: Dogs of the TSX December 31st, 2016
Source: Data curated from Thomson Reuters Eikon. Note: the dividend per share is the dividend from the last fiscal quarter, while the yield is that dividend, annualized, then divided by the closing price on December 31st, 2016
Had you invested $10,000 into the equally weighted index, your portfolio would look something like what is presented in Figure 2 below.
Figure 2: Dogs of the TSX Current Performance
Note: Annualized formula =(1.0277^(252/38))-1
As of Friday, February 24, 2017, that investment would have already returned a capital gain of $277.15, or 2.77%, before consideration for the dividends that may have been paid out as well. On an annualized basis that would be a return of 19.88% before dividends, on a 252-day trading year.
Although the first 38 trading days aren’t indicative of performance for an entire year, it does help to shed some light on just how powerful this investment strategy can be.
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