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“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.”

— Warren Buffett

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a two-decade holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Corning Inc (NYSE: GLW)? Today, we examine the outcome of a two-decade investment into the stock back in 1999.

Start date: 09/16/1999


End date: 09/13/2019
Start price/share: $22.35
End price/share: $30.16
Starting shares: 447.43
Ending shares: 575.40
Dividends reinvested/share: $5.41
Total return: 73.54%
Average annual return: 2.79%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $17,341.35

As shown above, the two-decade investment result worked out as follows, with an annualized rate of return of 2.79%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $17,341.35 today (as of 09/13/2019). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 73.54% (something to think about: how might GLW shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Corning Inc paid investors a total of $5.41/share in dividends over the 20 holding period, marking a second component of the total return beyond share price change alone. Much like watering a tree, reinvesting dividends can help an investment to grow over time — for the above calculations we assume dividend reinvestment (and for this exercise the closing price on ex-date is used for the reinvestment of a given dividend).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of .8/share, we calculate that GLW has a current yield of approximately 2.65%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .8 against the original $22.35/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 11.86%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.” — Oscar Wilde