Here are the ‘Dogs of the Dow,’ a simple strategy that beats the market

It’s a classic value investing strategy that could be primed to work even better this year if the market remains shaky in the face of a slowing global economy and trade battles. Investors may look to names like these for more steady dividend income.

While beating the market in 2018, the dogs would have done much better in 2018 without General Electric‘ 57 percent decline, according to Bespoke Investment Group. The conglomerate is the only name that got replaced in the new year because the company cut its dividend to 0.55 percent from 2.75 percent. JP Morgan Chase has made the list of new dogs. GE is also no longer in the Dow.

Source: Bespoke Investment Group

“The 20 non-Dogs are down 5 percent, so the Dogs are winning handily at this point in what has been a down year,” said a team of analysts at Bespoke in a note Monday.

Merck was the best performer among 2018’s dogs, posting a whopping 35 percent return. A key driver for Merck’s outperformance was the strong ramp-up in sales of Keytruda, a drug used to treat various forms of cancer. Merck sports a dividend yield of 2.9 percent.