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This Simple Stock Market Strategy Is Winning so Far in 2021

By Dan Caplinger - Apr 6, 2021 at 5:32PM

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If value stocks are back, this could be a great year for this easy-to-use investing method.

Stocks were generally mixed on Tuesday, with major market benchmarks remaining near all-time highs. The S&P 500 (^GSPC 0.95%) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 0.60%) eased off their records from Monday, while the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC 0.00%) also lost a bit of ground and is further away from its high-water mark.


Percentage Change

Point Change




S&P 500



Nasdaq Composite



Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Many investors would prefer a simple way to invest that doesn't require them to look obsessively at the stock market every day. One alternative that many investors have turned to over the years involves picking the stocks known as the Dogs of the Dow.

Despite some tough years recently, the Dogs of the Dow strategy is easy to use and has been outperforming the market so far in 2021. Let's take a closer look to find out why.

How the 2021 Dogs of the Dow have fared so far


Price Change in 2021 Year to Date

Dow Jones Industrials


Dogs of the Dow


Source:, as of April 6, 2021.

The basics of the Dogs of the Dow strategy

If you're looking for an easy investing strategy, it's hard to get simpler than the Dogs of the Dow. The 10-stock portfolio is composed of the top-yielding dividend stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average as of the beginning of each year, and you'd purchase them with equal dollar amounts. You then hold the stocks for a full year.

To use the strategy the following year, just look at the updated dividend yields and make substitutions as necessary. Often, there's considerable overlap, making year-to-year adjustments easy to make.

Black puppy in a pile of money.

Image source: Getty Images.

Usually, the Dogs of the Dow method does well when value investing is in vogue, because Dogs of the Dow stocks tend to have high yields since their share prices have fallen relative to other Dow components. If those businesses rebound, then they can provide outperformance over the broader market. That's been true in six out of the past 10 years.

Why are the Dogs doing well in 2021?

The Dogs are getting some help from market trends this year. They include:

  • A rebound in the energy sector. Chevron (CVX 1.60%) is up 24%, and while the oil and gas giant makes up only a small part of the Dow's overall weight, it has much more influence among the Dogs.
  • A huge 42% rebound in drugstore retailer Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA 0.90%) has definitely played a big role. Walgreens is the best performer in the whole Dow, and Dogs investors are getting an outsized portion of those returns, as its influence in the Dow is minimal because of its low stock price.
  • Several hot stocks that flew high in 2020 have taken a break so far this year. For instance, Apple (AAPL 0.11%) and Nike (NKE 0.85%) are both down so far this year.

Of course, 2021 is just over three months old, so it's too early for the Dogs to declare victory just yet. However, if you're looking for blue chip stocks that can stand the test of time, the 10 stocks that make up the 2021 Dogs of the Dow all have business strengths that makes them solid investment choices for dividend-hungry investors.

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Stocks Mentioned

Chevron Corporation Stock Quote
Chevron Corporation
$175.41 (1.60%) $2.77
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
$32,120.28 (0.60%) $191.66
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
$3,978.73 (0.95%) $37.25
Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
$140.52 (0.11%) $0.16
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return) Stock Quote
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return)
$11,264.45 (0.00%) $0.00
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. Stock Quote
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.
$42.46 (0.90%) $0.38
NIKE, Inc. Stock Quote
NIKE, Inc.
$108.20 (0.85%) $0.91

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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