To test this hypothesis, for each of the 45 cited high yield assets I have compared the performance of a 12-month-plus-one-day (to avoid short-term tax treatment) holding with that of a simple buy-and-hold purchase of the S&P 500 Index (SPX), held for the same period, and then added in the average dividend of the "high yielders," on the one hand, 5.2%, and the approximate S&P 500 Index dividend over the five year interval under review, 2%, on the other.
Even though some of the high dividend stocks lost considerably in share price, with one down over 90% and another over 80%, the majority did well enough in this rocky stock market that an average year-and-a-day holding in each produced an upward price performance of 5.1%, which favorably compares with a negative 0.6% average performance for the S&P 500 Index over the same periods.
Bearing in mind that at one point the S&P 500 Index was down 40%, and that most stocks were adversely affected by the overall market's tailspin, the better performance of the "high yielders" seems significant. But they really shine once the dividends have been added. These delightful dividend providers had average total returns of 10.3% vs. only 1.4% for the S&P 500 Index, an "outperformance" of 8.9% for the 366 day (or 367 day, for leap years) asset hold duration.