Dogs of the TSX Dividend Stock Picks (September 2023 Update)

I’ve been writing about the investing strategy known as the “Dogs of the TSX” for over a decade. The strategy was borrowed from the “Dogs of the Dow” strategy down in the USA, and was popularized in Canada by MoneySaver magazine as the Beating the TSX Dividend Stock Strategy – or BTTSX. (Click here to skip directly to my 2023 picks).

The idea behind the Dogs of the TSX strategy is to look for solid cash-flow positive stocks that have fallen out of favour for one reason or another. In other words, you’re looking to take advantage of short-term market inefficiency when it comes to the pricing of blue-chip Canadian stocks.

The filter for the original Beating the TSX strategy was to use a high dividend yield in order to rank companies. The theory is that these companies have seen their stock price beat up for some reason, but are still producing enough profit to pay a high dividend.  

I personally have slightly altered the original BTTSX to come up with my own modified Dividend Dogs of the TSX strategy. I take the TSX 60, and list all sixty stocks by yield. From there, I remove Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), and any stocks that have cut dividends OR have insanely high payout ratios (foreshadowing a future dividend cut).

You’ll notice that my Dividend Dogs of the TSX list has a lot in common with my Best Canadian Dividend Stocks 2023 list that I update monthly. There’s obviously a lot of overlap in selecting value-driven, stable, Canadian company stocks.

Top Canadian Dogs of the TSX Pick for 2023: Telus (T)

Our top pick out of the 2023 Canadian Dogs of the TSX is Telus (T). It’s simply tough to beat the telecommunications oligopoly when it comes to reliable stability in overall returns. The company makes most of its money from wireless business – which has only three real operators in Canada.  

What separates Telus from fellow Dog of the TSX, Bell (BCE) is their ability to grow and spin off valuable secondary business verticals in addition to their core businesses. Telus International, Telus Health, and Telus Agriculture are quite interesting new fields to be a part of, and so far it appears that management has figured out how to create value there.

The company raises their dividend like clockwork each year, and has been a great mix of a growth plus yield. While the P/E ratio is a bit higher than I’d like as we head into summer of 2023, I’m willing to pay a premium to own this stability.  

With Rogers finally completing their acquisition of Shaw, we see both Bell and Telus indirectly benefit from an even stronger oligopolistic market that sees massive pricing power in the hands of three companies. With so much time, energy, and capital, having being expended by Rogers over the past two years, one has to wonder if the juice was worth the squeeze for that company.

September 2023 Update: Our Telus 2023 Dogs of the TSX was looking better a few months ago – but that’s the nature of short-term markets. Telus is still in an excellent overall position, and the 6.13% dividend yield is still very safe from everything I’ve read. 

The recent downturn in the share price is simply due to the entire sector getting downgraded due to increased interest rates.  In a leveraged environment, the increased interest expense will slightly reduce returns for the time being. 

The increased competition for telecom stocks from fixed income products is also suppressing some market demand for the stock. I love the yield, diversity, stability, and future prospects that Telus brings to my portfolio.  It may take a year or two to pay-off, but I still have very strong convictions.

The 4th quarter earnings report for the company showed a 3.8% operating revenue increase from the previous year. While adjusted earnings per share were basically flat, that bottom line number doesn’t reflect two key considerations:

1) The last few years have seen massive capital expenditures from Telus as they paid upfront to install fiber-optic cables to homes and businesses. They are nearly done with that huge undertaking, and it will free up nearly $3 billion in cash flow for 2023. Let’s just say there are no dividend cuts in the future.

2) In September, Telus acquired the US-health company LifeWorks for $2.2 billion. This represents another investment into Telus’ growing telehealth business. I really like this focus on healthcare as opposed to traditional media and sports teams that Bell and Rogers seem to favour (in addition to their core telecommunications business)

National Bank recently released their 2023 Dividend list, and highlighted Telus saying:

Telus has enjoyed a premium valuation to its peers. […] After the successful IPO of Telus International, we await future monetization opportunities related to Health and Agriculture which could happen over the next two or more years.”

Finally, we should note that Telus’ President and CEO Darren Entwistle disclosed that had purchased more than 150,000 Telus shares so far in 2023, demonstrating just how confident management is in the company. Whenever you have insiders willing to put their own skin in the game, I always feel more confident as an investor.

Dogs of the TSX Dividend Stock Strategy Implementation

Here is the step by step procedure of how this strategy is implemented:

1. Sort the TSX60 by dividend yield.

2. Purchase the top 10 positions with equal dollar amounts but remove former income trusts (maybe some exceptions) and stocks that have a shaky dividend history (ie. dividend cuts, cyclical companies, pausing dividends etc).

3. Hold your positions until the new year at which point you check the list of top 10 yielding blue chips on the TSX again. If there are any differences, you swap out positions until they match.

4. Repeat annually going forward.

While it may sound like a lot of portfolio churn, since the TSX is fairly small, the top 10 list doesn’t vary much from year to year.

It also turns out that a number of the largest dividend stocks in Canada are also dividend growth stocks. While the traditional method of picking these positions is to buy the top 10 while removing former income trust and companies that have cut their dividends in the past, I prefer to pick stocks that also have a history of dividend increases (most of them do).

Performance of the BTTSX Strategy

As magical as it may seem, this strategy has been outperforming the TSX over the long term. Mind you, the strategy does not outperform every single year, but it has outperformed over the long term (however, note that past results do not guarantee future returns).

According to the Beating the TSX Wiki page, between 1987 and 2017, the BTTSX had an average return of 12.4% vs the TSX which has returned about 9.6%.

As you know, small improvements in portfolio performance can lead to a significant difference in portfolio size over the long term.  Note my article on improving your portfolio performance by 1.7% through reducing your portfolio MER can lead to a 60% difference in portfolio size over 30 years. It also helps to use a low-cost online broker.

I like this strategy in that investors are getting the highest possible yield out of the largest blue-chip stocks in Canada with the possibility of dividend increases.

The downsides are that there is annual turnover (usually minimal) which can result in a tax hit in non-registered accounts and potential lack of diversification depending on the year.  For example, one year, it could be a high concentration of financial stocks in the portfolio, and the next could be utilities.

Beating the TSX Dividend Stock Picks For 2023

Now, for what you’ve been waiting for, the 2023 BTTSX stock picks.

  1. Algonquin Power and Utilities Corp (AQN)
  2. Enbridge (ENB)
  3. TC Energy Corp (TRP)
  4. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS)
  5. BCE (BCE)
  6. CIBC (CM)
  7. Power Corp (POW)
  8. Pembina Pipeline (PPL)
  9. Manulife (MFC)
  10. Telus (T)

For further context, here’s the old the MDJ 2022 BTTSX picks:

  1. Enbridge (ENB)
  2. Pembina Pipeline (PPL)
  3. BCE (BCE)
  4. TC Energy Corp (TRP)
  5. Manulife (MFC)
  6. Algonquin Power and Utilities Corp (AQN)
  7. Power Corp (POW)
  8. Suncor (SU)
  9. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS)
  10. Telus (T)

The 2023 Dogs of the TSX group contains 2 telcos, 3 financials, 1 pure utility, 1 utility + renewable hybrid, and 3 pipeline utilities (or “mid-stream” energy companies).  For a complete portfolio, we would also need materials/resources, real estate, technology, and consumer stocks. If you want to round out your dividend portfolio, check our top dividend stocks for 2023.

If you are considering this strategy, I would recommend using it as part of your Canadian exposure and using index ETFs for global diversification.

My top 10 holdings after several years of doing the BTTSX are:

  1. Enbridge (ENB)
  2. CIBC (CM)
  3. Scotia Bank (BNS)
  4. Manulife (MFC)
  5. BCE (BCE)
  6. TC Energy Corp (TRP)
  7. Power Corp (POW)
  8. Telus (T)
  9. Pembina Pipeline (PPL)
  10. Algonquin (AQN)

My Own Implementation of Beating the TSX

I mentioned in an earlier financial freedom update that my spouse had some cash saved up, and we were looking to deploy into dividend stocks using the Dogs of the TSX strategy. We ended up opening yet another account at Qtrade.

Our “non-registered” dividends shown in a recent update are from our “BTTSX” dividend portfolio. Here’s my end of 2022 update.

  • Total Dividends: $73,800/year 

Being a dividend growth investor, we decided to utilize a hybrid approach to this strategy. We essentially sorted the TSX60 by yield, but only picked stocks with a history of dividend increases. We also added a couple of positions for diversification. So it’s not a pure Dogs of the TSX investing strategy.

While going through this process for 5 years now, I’ve noticed that I’m good at picking and buying the stocks, but terrible at selling! I’d much prefer to add to existing or new positions with new money rather than selling to gain capital. As of this post, I have not sold any of my original positions.

Since inception in September 2017 to January 2022, using XIRR the portfolio has returned about 12% while the index (XIC.TO) has returned about 8%. Not a bad result, but in reality, I’m more focused on the dividends that the portfolio produces.

My Overall Top 2023 Dividend Picks After Adjusting for Dividend Growth




Div Streak

Dividend Yield

5yr Revenue Growth

5yr EPS Growth

5yr Dividend Growth

Payout Ratio






















Canadian National Railway Co










Canadian National Resources










Telus Corp










Intact Financial




















National Bank










Alimentation Couche-Tard










Royal Bank










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How Did Our Canadian Dogs of the TSX Perform in 2021 and 2022?

Our 2021 Dogs of the TSX list resulted in Enbridge being the top pick – and it came through big time for us. With a capital gain of over 21%, and a dividend yield that was over 8% when we wrote the article last year, we realized a total gain of almost 30% for this Canadian dividend king.

I say that only to properly frame the context for my “Dog of the TSX” 2022 stock pick: Algonquin Power and Utilities Corp (AQN). 

This one stings! But I feel it’s important to be brutally honest with readers when things don’t go as predicted. Hopefully it lends credibility to when we get things right – and by the way, I still honestly feel that we’re going to be right on AQN in the long term!

Here’s a few pieces of information to chew on as we consider what to do going forward:

1) The dividend (even after the recent cut to start 2023) is now 6.51%. This is insane value, and I have purchased more of the stock already.

2) When EPS comes down 9%, there is some reason for a 5%-ish fall in share price. The massive fall is completely disproportionate and reveals a lot of investors that are not confident in their investing thesis.

3) Algonquin is NOT dramatically affected by the rising interest rates. The company doesn’t carry a ton of debt relative to other utility companies AND much of that debt isn’t due for 3+ years. It’s locked in at the very low rates we saw the past couple of years. 

Even if interest rates go up another 1-2% (doubtful it will be higher than 1.5% after the US CPI numbers last week), we’re only talking 15-30M in annual increased interest costs for Algonquin. This is a company that is set to make over $400M this year. That means the interest rate increase will sting a bit, but we’re not talking panic by any stretch here.

4) AQN managed to negotiate a better purchase price on their big acquisition of Kentucky Power. The substantial purchase will add to free cash flow going forward.

Algonquin has a great track record of being able to manage utility companies and add value in the renewable energy space. While its stock dilution has been irritating at times, it has allowed the company to grow without adding crushing debt loads (which looks like a pretty smart move at the movement). 

Until they prove that they have lost their touch when it comes to bringing value to new projects I will continue to give them the benefit of the doubt. Plus, at this entry point, the downside is incredibly miniscule. Even just their attractiveness as a takeover target puts the fair market value WAY higher than the current price point. 

If you want to do your own analysis on whether or not this is the perfect entry point for Algonquin, I recommend the Dividend Stocks Rock platform. When the Algonquin earnings news broke, DSR released a special report within hours addressing literally every single one of my concerns. You can read our full Dividend Stocks Rock review for full details on their tools, advice, and pricing.

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Dogs of the TSX FAQ

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the BTTSX strategy has been outperforming the TSX over the long term. Mind you, the strategy does not outperform every single year, but it has outperformed over the long term (however, note that past results do not guarantee future returns).

Perhaps it’s the fact that large-cap stocks on the TSX tend to beat Canadian small caps, which at times can act as a drag on the overall index (Canadians love their oligopolies with large barriers to entry after all). Another reason may be that as yields rise for blue chips, it may mean that their stock price is relatively low which can equate to a form of value investing.

If you are considering the Dogs of the TSX strategy, I would recommend using it as part of your Canadian exposure and using all-in-one ETFs for added diversification.

Using an all-in-one ETF can give you instant international exposure, and is especially key for getting some of your money into areas like tech and healthcare where Canada doesn’t have many champions.

Canadian dividend stocks have historically been an excellent value (and I honestly believe they represent one of the best places to build your nest egg) but a responsible investor knows that diversifying risk is essential to long-term success. See my Canadian dividend stocks list for more information on what I’m putting new money into these days.

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FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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1 year ago

Article could use some clarity ; which is final list for building starting now a dogs of the tsx prtfl and which is his personal, seems quite a diff and some of title work does not clearly differentiate if he is talking exclusively about the beating the tsx ie dogs of the dow and his pure dividend pritfolio = left scratching my head…..

1 year ago
Reply to  Ronaldo

last should day “dogs of the tsx”

2 years ago

nice one will all the ROGERS + SHAW drama do you think Shaw can be a good choice at this point? or should it be swap with something different ?thanks

3 years ago

If any one is interested, there is a Canadian site dedicated to Beating the TSX:

It has the annual list, plus updates to the portfolio monthly for those needing up to date information. There is also a complete list of the TSX 60 stocks organized by dividend yield.

BTSX has a long history of generating returns in excess of the benchmark. Interestingly, a recent post shows how Beating the TSX has out-performed the index over various time periods after recent market crashes, which is especially helpful given the current situation. If you’re not sure how to implement the strategy in a practical way, there is information on that too. All of the information is free.

3 years ago

I have some of these. The yields are great and these companies have been paying divs for decades.

My big worry right now is the Canadian ecomy is in trouble, 6 million jobs have been lost. I don’t think the full ramification of this is yet know, let alone priced in.

In a conservative approach, which of this would be the most secure to
1- continue paying divs?
2- not depreciate in price substantially?

3 years ago

Hello MDJ, I have ~120k of room between me and my wife’s TFSA account.

Do you think investing the 120k in the TFSA or RRSP account is a better choice right now?

We have the cash sitting in Questrade and I am trying to decide what to do.


3 years ago
Reply to  Kev

I will go for TFSA when market is down and RRSP when is up.