Thursday, January 19, 2017

My 2017 Roth IRA Contribution and Stocks I Bought and Sold

I made my $5500 maximum contribution toward my Roth IRA for 2017. This is the same limit for five years in a row now without any increases, which is a little frustrating.

In my Roth IRA account, which is tax-free, I implement a high-yield dividend growth strategy: Dogs of the Dividend Aristocrats (DoDA). Similar to the Dogs of the Dow, which are the top ten yielding stocks in the Dow, DoDA are the top ten yielding stocks among the Dividend Aristocrats, stocks in the S&P 500 that have increased dividends every year for the last 25 straight years.

Dividend Aristocrats are arguably the highest quality stocks available, and the higher yields are correlated with better valuations and higher expected returns. Dogs of the Dividend Aristocrats should be an improvement over Dogs of the Dow in quality and selection.

I am using my IRA to invest in higher yielding dividend growth stocks to balance out my taxable accounts where I invest in more tax efficient stocks with lower dividend yields.

2017 will only be the third year in which I implement this strategy. The table below shows the 10 highest yielding dividend aristocrats at beginning of the year. Red highlights stocks that were no longer part of next year's list. Orange highlights stocks are newly added to this year's list compared to last year, but no longer part of next year's list. Green highlights stocks that are newly added to this year's list compared to last year. The average yield has been almost twice that of the S&P 500.

Stock (yield)
Year12345678910AvgS&P 500

In my IRA account, NUE and WMT from 2016 are replaced by KO and KMB in 2017. I also added to a few holdings with lower weights for rebalancing. My updated portfolio now reflects these changes.

The following table lists the annual total returns since I started the strategy. Returns correspond to each of the stock if bought at the beginning and sold at the end of the calendar year. My IRA returns are close to the average return of the 10 stocks, but not exactly the same due to small differences in prices and weighting.

Annual Total Return (%)Cumulative Returns
Year12345678910AvgSDIRAS&P 500AvgIRAS&P 500

The strategy did outperform the S&P 500 on a total cumulative return basis by 479 basis points in 2016, which is encouraging. A ten-year study from 2005-2014, however, found this strategy to have underperformed both the Dividend Aristocrats (DA) and the S&P 500. This study period included the financial crash in 2007-2008 and the DoDA loaded on financial stocks in 2007. I am hopeful that the cleansing has been done now, and that the DoDA is now higher in quality and positioned for outperformance over the next decade. Meanwhile, I'll keep my eyes open and will readjust strategy if necessary.

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