Buy and Hold the original Dow 30 vs. investing in the Dow 30 index....
Highlights of intresting stuff from John Mauldin recent newsletter. No conclusions from me, just thought some might find it an intresting data point when thinking of index investing vs. buy and hold.
The Dow Industrials was expanded to 30 names from 20 on October 1 of 1928. Today, only nine names of the original 30 remain in the Dow. The committee at Dow Jones has replaced the other names as the companies grew out of favor, were merged into other stocks, were considered too small, or the committee felt that other companies better represented the industrial prowess of the US economy.
So, the question of the day: would you have been better off investing in the index, or buying the 30 stocks and holding them?
Now, the rather stark conclusion. As Rob noted to me in the email he sent with the data, "If Dow Jones hadn't tinkered with the index, the 30 companies would have merged or failed their way down to just 9 survivors. Of the 21 companies in the original 30 that are now gone, 20 disappeared through M&A, some were replaced by successor firms and others not, and only one (Bethlehem Steel) failed outright. But this no-fiddling index would have topped out at just over 30,000 in October 2007 and would have finished 2008 at 14,600. Ugly decline, but not as ugly as a level of 8776 [now down to 7300 as I type this]. This compounds out to a 0.7% per year greater return than the actual Dow 30 results. The difference comes from dropping companies when they're out of favor, and trading at deep discounts, only to replace them with popular large-cap, high-multiple newcomers."