Sunday, August 19

Week 372 - DJIA Companies in “The 2 and 8 Club”

Situation: The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is generally thought to be the most stable reflection of the stock market. As it should be. Those 30 companies are picked by the Managing Editor of the Wall Street Journal to do exactly that. Here at ITR, we have our own, less subjective, measure of stability: companies that pay a good and growing dividend. In other words, companies with a dividend yield and dividend growth rate that are as good (or better than) the DJIA’s ~2% yield and ~8% growth rate. We propose that you pick such stocks out of the DJIA, thinking you’ll just have to do better than you would have done by investing in the Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) for the DJIA (DIA), which is called “Diamonds” for good reason. 

Mission: Run our Standard Spreadsheet for the 8 companies in the DJIA that are members of “The 2 and 8 Club” (see Week 360).

Execution: see Table.

Administration: We have made two changes to “The 2 and 8 Club”: 1) Companies with a BBB+ S&P rating for their bonds are no longer accepted (see Column T in the Table); 2) all companies in the Russell 1000 Index that meet requirements (see Week 327) are included in “The 2 and 8 Club”(see Week 366). So, that phrase no longer refers specifically to companies in the S&P 100 Index.  

Bottom Line: These 8 stocks have performed remarkably well vs. DIA. Total Returns over the past 11 years (see Column C) were 26% greater, Finance Values (see Column E) were 25% better, dividend yields were almost 30% better (see Column G), dividend growth was almost 80 faster (see Column H), and the rate of price appreciation over the past 16 years was more than 70% faster (see Column K). So far so good, but the devil is in the details. We also measure risk. The story there is a bit shocking, even though these very stable companies were able to shake off challenges posed by the recent crash in commodity markets (see Column D). 

Five year price volatility was almost 25% greater (see Column I), P/E was twice as great (see Column J), and quantitative analysis of stock prices over the past 16 years predicts that losses will be almost 40% greater in the next Bear Market (see Column M). In other words, the risk-adjusted returns for these 8 companies are not significantly different than those for the DJIA. This conclusion is consistent with what we were taught in Business School, i.e., there are only two ways for a stock picker to “beat the market.” 1) use insider information (illegal), 2) take on more risk. Your best chance to beat the market without incurring more risk is to invest in the highest quality utilities, beverages, and pharmaceuticals (see Week 367).

Risk Rating: 6 (where US Treasury Notes = 1, S&P 500 Index = 5, gold bullion = 10).

Full Disclosure: I dollar-average into MSFT, JPM, CAT and IBM, and also own shares of TRV, MMM and CSCO.

"The 2 and 8 Club" (CR) 2017 Invest Tune All rights reserved.

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