New Dividend Aristocrats For 2020

Last week S&P Dow Jones Indices announced the annual rebalancing of the Dividend Aristocrats. In the rebalancing results, no companies are being removed, but S&P announced seven new additions to the Aristocrats for 2020. This brings the number of Aristocrats to 64 companies. The changes go into effect prior to the market open on February 3, 2020. As noted by S&P, "S&P 500® Dividend Aristocrats® measure the performance of S&P 500® companies that have increased dividends every year for the last 25 consecutive years. The Index treats each constituent as a distinct investment opportunity without regard to its size by equally weighting each company."
 

Data File (.xls)

S&P Dow Jones Indices published a paper in February 2019 comparing data around the Aristocrats versus the S&P 500 Index. The paper notes the Aristocrats tend to outperform the broader market, not necessarily every year, but over time. When one factors in volatility, the Aristocrats risk adjusted returns outpace the S&P 500 Index as well. The Aristocrats outperformance is most notable in down months where they outperform the S&P 500 Index in 70% of the market's down months going back to 1990 as seen in the below table.

Some market commentary of late seems to suggest the market is ripe for a pullback. When that does occur, investors having some exposure to the Aristocrats historically have been insulated from the full impact of the S&P 500's decline.

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