Sunday, December 10

Week 336 - Version 3.0 of The Growing Perpetuity Index Reflects “The 2 and 8 Club”

Situation: We started this blog six years ago with the idea to create a Growing Perpetuity Index as a way to save for retirement, by selecting from a workable “watch list” of high-quality stocks (see Week 21). We chose to base the index on companies in the 65-stock Dow Jones Composite Average (^DJA), and ended up selecting 12 from the 14 that had earned S&P’s designation of Dividend Achiever, i.e., companies that had raised their dividend annually for the previous 10 years or longer:
        Exxon Mobil
        Wal-Mart Stores
        Procter & Gamble
        Johnson & Johnson
        United Technologies
        Norfolk Southern
        NextEra Energy

Our thought was that investors could select stocks from this index to safely dollar-cost average automatic online contributions into their Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP). That would allow relatively safe and efficient growth in their retirement assets. Version 2.0 (see Week 224) added back the two companies that had been left out, Caterpillar (CAT) and Southern Company (SO), plus two newly qualified companies: Microsoft (MSFT) and CSX (CSX).

Now we’ll apply a lesson learned from running Net Present Value (NPV) calculations, namely that Discounted Cash Flows from good and growing dividends are more likely to predict rewards to the investor than Capital Gains from a history of price appreciation. Accordingly, Version 3.0 re-casts the index to include only those ^DJA companies that are in “The 2 and 8 Club” (see Week 329) of high-quality companies with a dividend yield of at least 2% and a dividend growth rate of at least 8% for the past 5 years. The result is a 13 company Watch List, not all of which are Dividend Achievers. Only 7 are holdovers from Growing Perpetuity Index, v2.0:
   NextEra Energy
   Exxon Mobil

Mission: Apply our standard spreadsheet (see Table) to the 13 companies in the 65-company Dow Jones Composite Index that are in “The 2 and 8 Club.”

Execution: see Table.

Bottom Line: The value of picking from among the highest-quality stocks in the Dow Jones Composite Index is not just that it’s the smallest and oldest index, but also that it is continuously vetted by the managing editor of The Wall Street Journal. Companies that don’t stand muster are replaced by companies that do. By adding the several requirements for inclusion in “The 2 and 8 Club” (e.g. S&P bond ratings cannot be lower than A-), you have a good chance of selecting half a dozen stocks that will beat the S&P 500 Index over a 10-Yr Holding Period (see Column Y in the Table). You’ll also be taking on more risk (see Columns D, I, and M in the Table), which you’ll ameliorate by trading new entrants to “The 2 and 8 Club” for those that are leaving.

Risk Rating: 6 (where 10-Yr Treasury Note = 1, S&P 500 Index = 5, and gold bullion = 10) 

Full Disclosure: I dollar-cost average into MSFT, XOM, NEE, KO, JPM and IBM, and also own shares of TRV, PFE, MMM, and CAT.

"The 2 and 8 Club" (CR) 2017 Invest Tune

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