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Dividend Growth Advisor's Dividend Growth Trust Rising Dividend Growth Fund is an equity income mutual fund with a long name with high expenses. It is rated very highly, earning fives (the highest score) for total return and consistent return from Lipper. Morningstar also rates the fund highly, giving it five Morningstars. Depending on whether investments are made through ICRGX, ICRDX, or ICRIX, investors receive dividend yields between 1.07% and 1.93%.

Unfortunately, there is a catch. Depending on share class, investors pay between 1.25% and 2.28% in fund expenses. Investors don't need to pay such high fees for a renowned portfolio. Instead of outsourcing portfolio construction by purchasing this fund via shares of ICRGX, ICRDX, or ICRIX, investors can boost their returns purchasing the fund's dividend-paying stock holdings directly. Buying directly sidesteps the fund's recurring annual expenses by paying trading costs and broker fees only once. This fund replication strategy allows retail investors to benefit from portfolio manager research and stock selection for free.

Consider the following 12 ICRGX holdings summarized below:

Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE:CAH) recently traded at $42.05 per share. At this price level, the stock has a 2.1% dividend yield. For 10 out of the past 10 fiscal years, a share of CAH paid a total of $3.72 in dividends. Of these dividend payments, a total of $2.97 were paid in the last five years.

CAH shareholders have seen a 3.6% change in share price over the past year. At present, shares of this large cap stock trade at a price-to-book ratio of 2.5, a price-to-earnings multiple of 16.3, and a price-to-sales multiple of 0.1 (trailing twelve months). Over the past decade shareholders savored a 16.2% average annual return on equity.

Church & Dwight Co. Inc. (NYSE:CHD) recently traded at $45.7 per share. At this price level, the stock has a 1.5% dividend yield. For 10 out of the past 10 fiscal years, a share of CHD paid a total of $1.51 in dividends. Of these dividend payments, a total of $0.99 were paid in the last five years.

CHD shareholders have sustained a -0.1% change in share price over the past year. At present, shares of this mid cap stock trade at a price-to-book ratio of 3.2, a price-to-earnings multiple of 22.7, and a price-to-sales multiple of 2.4 (trailing twelve months). Over the past decade shareholders savored a 18.1% average annual return on equity.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) recently traded at $193.6399 per share. At this price level, the stock has a 1.6% dividend yield. For 10 out of the past 10 fiscal years, a share of IBM paid a total of $12.40 in dividends.

IBM shareholders have seen a 5.3% increase in share price over the past year. At present, shares of this large cap stock trade at a price-to-book ratio of 11.3, a price-to-earnings multiple of 14.8, and a price-to-sales multiple of 2.1 (trailing twelve months). Over the past decade shareholders savored a 38.9% average annual return on equity.

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) recently traded at $68.08 per share. At this price level, the stock has a 2.8% dividend yield. For 10 out of the past 10 fiscal years, a share of KO paid a total of $12.04 in dividends.

KO shareholders have sustained a -2.7% change in share price over the past year. At present, shares of this large cap stock trade at a price-to-book ratio of 4.7, a price-to-earnings multiple of 12.5, and a price-to-sales multiple of 3.4 (trailing twelve months). Over the past decade shareholders savored a 32.1% average annual return on equity.

McDonald's Corp. (NYSE:MCD) recently traded at $100.01 per share. At this price level, the stock has a 2.8% dividend yield. For 10 out of the past 10 fiscal years, a share of MCD paid a total of $10.53 in dividends.

MCD shareholders have sustained a -0.3% change in share price over the past year. At present, shares of this large cap stock trade at a price-to-book ratio of 7.7, a price-to-earnings multiple of 19.0, and a price-to-sales multiple of 3.8 (trailing twelve months). Over the past decade shareholders savored a 20.9% average annual return on equity.

McCormick & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MKC) recently traded at $51.24 per share. At this price level, the stock has a 2.4% dividend yield. For 10 out of the past 10 fiscal years, a share of MKC paid a total of $6.88 in dividends. Of these dividend payments, a total of $4.40 were paid in the last five years.

MKC shareholders have seen a 1.6% change in share price over the past year. At present, shares of this mid cap stock trade at a price-to-book ratio of 4.3, a price-to-earnings multiple of 18.4, and a price-to-sales multiple of 1.8 (trailing twelve months). Over the past decade shareholders savored a 27.3% average annual return on equity.

Mine Safety Appliances Co. (NYSE:MSA) recently traded at $35.42 per share. At this price level, the stock has a 2.9% dividend yield. For 10 out of the past 10 fiscal years, a share of MSA paid a total of $5.96 in dividends. Of these dividend payments, a total of $4.41 were paid in the last five years.

MSA shareholders have seen a 6.9% change in share price over the past year. At present, shares of this small cap stock trade at a price-to-book ratio of 2.8, a price-to-earnings multiple of 20.4, and a price-to-sales multiple of 1.1 (trailing twelve months). Over the past decade shareholders savored a 15.7% average annual return on equity.

Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) recently traded at $73.61 per share. At this price level, the stock has a 2.6% dividend yield. For 10 out of the past 10 fiscal years, a share of NSC paid a total of $7.26 in dividends. Of these dividend payments, a total of $5.62 were paid in the last five years.

NSC shareholders have seen a 1.7% change in share price over the past year. At present, shares of this large cap stock trade at a price-to-book ratio of 2.5, a price-to-earnings multiple of 13.5, and a price-to-sales multiple of 2.2 (trailing twelve months). Over the past decade shareholders savored a 12.1% average annual return on equity.

Nucor Corporation (NYSE:NUE) recently traded at $45.4099 per share. At this price level, the stock has a 3.2% dividend yield. For 10 out of the past 10 fiscal years, a share of NUE paid a total of $7.12 in dividends. Of these dividend payments, a total of $5.89 were paid in the last five years.

NUE shareholders have enjoyed a 14.8% change in share price over the past year. At present, shares of this large cap stock trade at a price-to-book ratio of 1.9, a price-to-earnings multiple of 18.5, and a price-to-sales multiple of 0.7 (trailing twelve months). Over the past decade shareholders savored a 17.1% average annual return on equity.

Praxair Inc. (NYSE:PX) recently traded at $108.02 per share. At this price level, the stock has a 2.0% dividend yield. For 10 out of the past 10 fiscal years, a share of PX paid a total of $9.60 in dividends. Of these dividend payments, a total of $7.10 were paid in the last five years.

PX shareholders have seen a 1.1% change in share price over the past year. At present, shares of this large cap stock trade at a price-to-book ratio of 5.9, a price-to-earnings multiple of 19.8, and a price-to-sales multiple of 2.9 (trailing twelve months). Over the past decade shareholders savored a 21.9% average annual return on equity.

The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TJX) recently traded at $34.53 per share. At this price level, the stock has a 2.2% dividend yield. For 10 out of the past 10 fiscal years, a share of TJX paid a total of $2.79 in dividends. Of these dividend payments, a total of $2.01 were paid in the last five years.

TJX shareholders have seen a 7.0% increase in share price over the past year. At present, shares of this large cap stock trade at a price-to-book ratio of 4.1, a price-to-earnings multiple of 10.0, and a price-to-sales multiple of 0.6 (trailing twelve months). Over the past decade shareholders savored a 41.0% average annual return on equity.

V.F. Corporation (NYSE:VFC) recently traded at $133.3899 per share. At this price level, the stock has a 2.2% dividend yield. For 10 out of the past 10 fiscal years, a share of VFC paid a total of $16.36 in dividends. Of these dividend payments, a total of $11.30 were paid in the last five years.

VFC shareholders have seen a 5.0% change in share price over the past year. At present, shares of this large cap stock trade at a price-to-book ratio of 3.3, a price-to-earnings multiple of 21.6, and a price-to-sales multiple of 1.7 (trailing twelve months). Over the past decade shareholders savored a 13.5% average annual return on equity.

These companies make up over 31% of the fund's holdings and have an average 2.3% dividend yield.

Ticker

Company

ICRGX Weight (%)

Dividend Yield

CAH

Cardinal Health, Inc.

2.07

2.1%

CHD

Church & Dwight Co. Inc.

1.99

1.5%

IBM

International Business Machines

3.34

1.6%

KO

The Coca-Cola Company

2.46

2.8%

MCD

McDonald's Corp.

3.67

2.8%

MKC

McCormick & Co. Inc.

2.00

2.4%

MSA

Mine Safety Appliances Co.

2.18

2.9%

NSC

Norfolk Southern Corp.

2.66

2.6%

NUE

Nucor Corporation

2.34

3.2%

PX

Praxair Inc.

4.12

2.0%

TJX

The TJX Companies, Inc.

2.02

2.2%

VFC

V.F. Corporation

2.37

2.2%

You can replicate the award-winning fund while paying zero in expenses by creating these positions yourself. Investors ought to consider these stocks as additions to their income portfolios rather than paying high expense ratios to the fund's management. At present, TJX and KO are trading at attractive valuations that warrant attention from dividend investors. Investors should keep an eye on the other names in this list until their price multiples drop to compelling values.

Source: Duplicating ICRGX Fund's 12 Smart Dividend Picks