This article originally appeared on The DIV-Net July 18, 2008.
I recently read a paper from Jeremy Siegel and Jeremy Schwartz titled “The Long-term Returns on the Original S&P 500 Firms”.
In this paper the authors calculate the total returns of a buy and hold of the original 500 companies in 1957. They found that on average 20 stocks annually have been added and deleted from the index (without considering that a merger of two S&P 500 companies is an addition to the index) since 1957. The authors also used three methods of calculating the returns:
Survivors’ Portfolio (SP). The survivor portfolio consists only of shares of the original S&P 500 firms. Shares of other firms received through mergers are immediately sold and the proceeds invested in the remaining survivor firms in proportion to their market value. For example, when Mobil Oil was merged into Exxon in 1999, shareholders of Mobil are assumed to sell the shares they received from Exxon-Mobil and invest the proceeds in the remaining survivor firms. All spinoffs are immediately sold and the proceeds reinvested in the parent firm. Funds received from privatizations are sold and the proceeds re-invested in the original surviving firms in proportion to their market value.
Direct Descendants’ Portfolio (DDP), which consists of the shares of firms in the survivors’ portfolio plus the shares issued by firms acquiring an original S&P 500 firm. In the case of the Mobil-Exxon merger discussed above, we assume that shareholders of Mobil Oil hold the shares of Exxon that were issued in the merger. If an original firm was taken private, we assume that the cash distributed from the privatization was invested in an indexed portfolio whose returns matched the standard S&P 500 Index.12 If a firm that was taken private is subsequently reissued to the public again, we assume the portfolio repurchases shares in the reissued company with the funds that had been invested in the index at the time the firm went private. As before, spinoffs are immediately sold and the proceeds reinvested in the parent.
Total Descendants’ Portfolio (TDP) and includes all firms in the DDP plus all the spinoffs and other stock distributions issued by the firms in the Direct Descendants’ Portfolio. The only difference between the TDP and the DDP is that the TDP holds all the spinoffs rather than sell them and reinvest in the proceeds in the parent firm. The TDP is identical to the portfolio of a totally passive investor who holds all the spinoffs and shares issued from mergers and never sells any stock.
My favorite portfolio is the Total Descendants portfolio, since it basically represents a very passive investment strategy – buying stock in 500 companies and then forgetting about them for 50 years.
The authors looked into the return of equal weighted and value weighted returns for the three calculation types.
At the end of the paper they determined that by not updating your portfolio of the original 500 companies, with the annual changes in the S&P 500, you’d have outperformed the average pretty handsomely.
My take on this research is that by purchasing the current 500 stocks in the S&P 500, and allocating all stock equally, an investor will be better off in the long run than simply purchasing an ETF. The reason is that ETF’s tend to charge fees of 0.1% annually, which could really add up over time.
- When to sell your dividend stocks?
- Why do I like Dividend Achievers
- The next bubble in the making.
- Dollar Cost Averaging
There were several companies over the past week, which raised dividends to shareholders. I isolated six of those companies, which have mana...
My goal is to purchase quality companies that grow earnings and dividends at an attractive price. Most members of the dividend champions li...
The biggest fallacy out there is that each dollar reinvested by companies will automatically translate into more profits. Unfortunately, r...
Every week I go through the list of dividend increases , as part of my monitoring process. I monitor the dividend increases from companies I...
This guest post has been wrote by Mike McNeil, passionate investor, founder of Dividend Stocks Rock and author of The Dividend Guy Blog . ...
Every week, I review the list of dividend increases as part of my monitoring process. I usually focus on companies I already own. However, ...
The most important question that investors ask themselves is how much money do they need to retire . There are several things to consider, i...
Dividend investing is as sexy as watching paint dry on the wall. Defining an entry criteria that selects quality dividend stocks with ris...
Every week, I review the list of dividend increases as part of my monitoring process . I usually focus my attention on companies that have m...
Today marks the ninth birthday of the Dividend Growth Investor blog. It is unreal that I have managed to keep this up for 9 years in a row. ...