Sunday, July 16

Week 315 - High-quality Dividend Achievers That Beat The S&P 500 For 30 Years With Less Risk

Situation: The S&P 500 Index has risen faster than underlying earnings for the past 8 years. The main reason is that the Federal Reserve purchased over 3 Trillion dollars worth of government bonds and mortgages (including “non-conforming” private mortgages that carry no government guarantee). As intended, this flooded our economy with money that could be borrowed at historically low interest rates. Now the Federal Reserve is looking to start bringing that money back, by accepting the repayment of principal when loans mature instead of renewing (“rolling over”) the loans. This will result in a balance sheet “roll-off” that reduces the amount of money in circulation. Think of it as a “bail-in” to rebalance Treasury accounts, which will reverse the “bail-out” of Wall Street in 2008-9. Interest rates will slowly rise. Investors will once again have to consider the attractiveness of owning bonds in place of stocks. “Risk-on” investments, i.e., growth stocks and stocks issued by smaller companies, will be less sought after but “risk-off” investments (defensive stocks and corporate bonds) will be more sought after. Most of the stocks that have outperformed the S&P 500 over the past 25 years (see Week 314) and 35 years (see Week 313) have been issued by companies in “defensive” industries. 

Mission: Look at 30 year statistics by using the BMW Method, to possibly find more stocks that outperform the S&P 500 Index while taking on less risk.  

Execution: see Table

Bottom Line: We have turned up 3 new companies: two from defensive industries (Archer Daniels Midland “ADM” and Kimberly-Clark “KMB”) and one from a growth industry (WW Grainger “GWW”). That makes a total of 11 companies from the 4 S&P “defensive” industries (Utilities, Healthcare, Consumer Staples, and Communication Services): CHD, MKC, BDX, WTR, ED, GIS, CVS, PEP, PG, ADM, KMB. And, 5 from the 6 S&P “growth” industries (Consumer Discretionary, Industrials, Information Technology, Materials, Energy, and Financial Services): APD, MMM, MCD, GPC, GWW

In other words, the companies that make really good long-term investments are twice as likely to be from “risk-off” defensive industries than from “risk-on” growth industries. But think about what that implies, given that 2/3rds of the companies in the S&P 100 Index represent growth industries. If you want to beat the S&P 500 Index long-term, you’ll have to reverse that ratio and have 2/3rds of your money in defensive stocks. 

Risk Rating: 5 (10-Yr Treasury Note = 1, S&P 500 Index = 5, Gold = 10)

Full Disclosure: I own shares of MCD, MMM, GIS, MKC.

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