Editor's note: This review of the Dogs of the Dow and related mutual funds is part of a new partnership with Nightly Business Report, which provided additional insight during its broadcast (at about the 18 minute mark).The sidewalks are sizzling. The subways are steamy. The market is wilting. The dog days of summer are once again upon us. Time to see how the dogs of the Dow, and their mutual fund masters, are handling the heat. For those unfamiliar with the concept, the dogs of the Dow are not members of an index tracking pet stocks, but rather an investment strategy that advocates buying the 10 Dow Jones Industrial Average stocks with the highest dividend yields. Adherents to the dogs philosophy believe these beaten-down stocks -- remember, yield moves inversely to price -- are undervalued and due to rally. Typically, dog investors readjust their portfolios at the beginning of each calendar year. The daily progress of the dogs can be tracked on such websites as DogsoftheDow.com. This year's list includes AT&T ( T), Verizon ( VZ), DuPont ( DD), Kraft ( KFT), Merck ( MRK), Chevron ( CVX), McDonald's ( MCD), Pfizer ( PFE), Home Depot ( HD) and Boeing ( BA).
Mutual Fund Dog OwnersInvesting in the dogs is a relatively straightforward proposition for retail investors. Those who prefer to invest in the dogs through a mutual fund, however, can choose from a pair of funds, though neither invests its assets entirely in the 10 dog stocks. The $11.5 million Hennessy Balanced ( HBFBX) fund puts 50% of its assets in the dogs and the other half in one-year Treasury bills, while the $50 million Hennessy Total Return ( HDOGX) fund has a 75%-to-25% dogs-to-T-bills ratio. Hennessy's Balanced fund charges an expense ratio of 1.73%, while the Total Return's cost is 1.27% a year. Neither of the pair carries a sales load. Both are leading the indices year-to-date.
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