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The "Dogs of the Dow" is a popular passive investing strategy that says investors should simply buy the ten highest yielding stocks in the Dow at the start of each year. So how have this year's Dogs done so far?

As shown below, the average total return (dividends reinvested) of the ten highest yielding Dow stocks at the start of the year is +16.16%. This is 136 basis points better than the average YTD total return of the 20 non Dogs, so the strategy is outperforming the index as a whole. The two best Dogs so far this year have been General Electric (NYSE:GE) and AT&T (NYSE:T). Both of these stocks have posted YTD gains of more than 30%. Only one Dog is down so far this year -- Intel (NASDAQ:INTC).

While the ten highest yielding Dow stocks are doing better as a whole than the other twenty stocks in the index, it's the stock with the lowest yield in the Dow that is up the most in 2012. As shown below, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) -- with a yield of 0.72% at the start of the year -- is up 61.24% year to date.

Source: 2012 Dogs Of The Dow Outperforming Slightly