Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dow Dogs Update: 19.5% Gain

I've been holding the four Dow Dogs since February and yesterday sold the three holdings with the greatest stock price appreciation. I realize this subverts the buy-hold strategy, but I'm gonna take my double digit gain and go to cash til January.

Dupont (DD) and Verizon (VZ) have been beasts, sporting over 4% dividends and outperforming the SPY in style. As I mentioned in February, my experience is that one holding will make up most of the gains, and this year DD has been the driver, with a 46% gain. Kraft (KFT) was sold as well with gains similar to the SPY at plus 10%. Only MRK has underperformed the index, breaking even for the time period, but it's 3 dividend payments have assuaged the pain.

As of today, the four holdings have returned 19.5% including dividends, versus the SPY which has returned 8.8%. Remember these were bought at the February market dip, so the returns are a bit better than YTD.

Since I'm always looking for an easier, cheaper way to get returns, I compared the Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG), and this was up 11%, and although the management fee is higher than SPY, the returns are similar or slightly better. The Dow Dogs strategy is really not going after index gains, however, it's trying to find the racehorse with a low risk portfolio. This year's Secretariat has been Dupont (DD).

With a nice gain for the year and elections coming up, I think it's a wonderful time to sit on some cash.

As an aside, if the Dow Dogs were chosen today, the picks would be ATT (T), Merck (MRK), Pfizer (PFE) and Kraft (KFT). Remember we throw out the highest dividend producer with the thought that there may be something fundamentally wrong with that company. In Verizon's (VZ) case, however, the higher yield is due to a recent dividend raise and not a stock price drop, but don't try to overthink it-- the strategy is designed to be simple and safe.

1 comment:

  1. I used to believe in the dogs of the dow theory But not anymore. This theory does not work anymore.