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In December 2010, I created a screen/hypothetical portfolio called the “High Yield Dividend Champion Portfolio.” The screen is tracked publicly as a continuous hypothetical portfolio with a starting balance of $100,000 on Scott’s Investments.

Like many of the screens, strategies, and portfolios I track and prefer, the High Yield Dividend Champion Portfolio uses a small number of historically relevant ideas to create a simple, yet powerful investment plan. As I previously detailed, “Some studies have shown that the, highest yielding, low payout stocks perform better over time than stocks with higher payouts and lower yields.”

The High Yield Dividend Champion Portfolio attempts to capture the best high yield, low payout stocks with a history of raising dividends. There are numerous ways to rank high yield/low payout stocks. The screening process for this portfolio starts with the “Dividend Champions” as compiled by DRIP Investing. The list is comprised of stocks that have increased their dividend payout for at least 25 consecutive years.

In January, changes were made to the ranking system. We still begin with the Dividend Champion list, which is first sorted by yield and the lowest 50% yielding stocks are eliminated. Eliminating the lowest yielding stocks ensures only stocks with a relatively “high” yield make the portfolio.

The remaining stocks are then assigned a rank based on their yield (the higher the yield the higher the rank), payout ratio (the lower the payout ratio the higher the rank), 3-year dividend growth rate, and 5/10 year Dividend Acceleration/Deceleration (5-year average increase divided by 10-year average increase). Extra weight is given to yield and payout ratio rankings.

The top 10 stocks based on the new ranking system make the portfolio. Stocks will be sold at the re-balance date (generally around the 5th of the month) when they drop out of the top 15 (to limit turnover) and are replaced with the next highest rated stock.

This month, as with the previous three months, there is no portfolio turnover. All current positions will be held until next month.

The top 15 stocks based on my ranking methodology are below and displayed in order of their overall ranking (figures are October month-end):

Name Symbol
Chevron Corp. CVX
Helmerich & Payne Inc. HP
Altria Group Inc. MO
UGI Corp. UGI
WGL Holdings Inc. WGL
Target Corp. TGT
Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM
American States Water AWR
Universal Corp. UVV
Tompkins Financial Corp. TMP
Leggett & Platt Inc. LEG
Eagle Financial Services OTCQB:EFSI
McDonald’s Corp. MCD
Northwest Natural Gas NWN
MGE Energy Inc. MGEE

The current portfolio is below:

Position Purchase Date
CVX 12/6/2012
WGL 12/6/2012
HP 7/5/2013
UVV 4/5/2012
UGI 8/5/2013
LEG 8/5/2013
XOM 4/5/2013
MO 3/5/2013
AWR 7/5/2013
NWN 4/5/2013

The portfolio performance is below along with three benchmarks (log scale)


(Click to enlarge)

Disclosure: None

Source: December High Yield Dividend Champion Portfolio