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Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, July 23, 2012 in New York.

Henny Ray Abrams/Associated Press

The Dogs of the Dow are showing off again this year.

The dogs in question refer to the strategy of buying equal dollar amounts of the highest yielding stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average at the beginning of each year. It's a mindless investment strategy that over time has had some pretty stellar returns, so many market watchers give it more than passing attention.

The Dow holds 30 blue chip stocks, so picking up those with the highest yields is an automatic way of selecting out of favour major companies –  dogs in other words –  that aren't too likely to crash and burn.

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Canaccord Genuity analysts were helpful enough to update how the kennel dwellers are doing at mid year. In a tough market, the pack of canines been a money maker, beating the Dow by a wide margin.

"Not including dividends, the strategy returned 8.4 per cent, compared to a 5 per cent increase for all DJIA components. Breaking the basket down: AT&T is up 16.7 per cent year-to-date, Merck up 15.1 per cent, Verizon up 10.9 per cent, General Electric up 10.9 per cent, Pfizer up 9.5 per cent, Kraft up 7.5 per cent, DuPont up 6.7 per cent, Intel up 5.2 per cent, and Johnson & Johnson higher by 4.7 per cent. The sole laggard in the basket is Procter & Gamble down 3.0 per cent YTD. The yield on the 2012 Dogs of The Dow strategy as at 12/31/2011 was 3.95 per cent," the firm said.

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About the Author
Investment Reporter

Martin Mittelstaedt has had a varied reporting career at the Globe and Mail, covering politics, the environment and business. He opened up the Globe's New York bureau for the Report on Business, and has also been on the banking and capital markets beats. He's written extensively on investing themes. More


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