With the 2018 investing year now closed, one strategy that turned out to be a winning one was the Dogs of the Dow strategy. The Dogs of the Dow strategy is one where investors select the ten stocks that have the highest dividend yield from the stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (DJIA) after the close of business on the last trading day of the year. Once the ten stocks are determined, an investor invests an equal dollar amount in each of the ten stocks and holds them for the entire next year. The popularity of the strategy is its singular focus on dividend yield.
I have written about this from time to time and early in 2018 the Dow Dogs were underperforming both the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index. This was on top of the fact the Dow Dogs underperformed the market in 2017. Through the first half of 2018, the Dow Dogs continued their lagging ways; however, a more volatile market in the second half of last year benefited the strategy, and the Dogs of the Dow ended up generating a slight positive total return of .02% for 2018. This compares to a loss of 3.74% for the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEARCA:DIA) and a loss of 4.56% for the SPDR S&P 500 Index ETF (NYSEARCA:SPY) as displayed in the below table.
As the new year begins, one new member joins the Dogs of the Dow for 2019. Entering the Dow Dogs in the coming year is JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) with a dividend yield of 3.28%. Dropping out of the Dogs is General Electric (NYSE:GE) not only because of its lower yield, but GE was removed from the Dow Jones Index last year.
Long MRK, PFE.