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“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”

— Warren Buffett

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a ten year holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Viacom Inc (NASD: VIAB)? Today, we examine the outcome of a ten year investment into the stock back in 2009.

Start date: 10/30/2009


End date: 10/29/2019
Start price/share: $27.59
End price/share: $21.66
Starting shares: 362.45
Ending shares: 451.36
Dividends reinvested/share: $9.82
Total return: -2.24%
Average annual return: -0.23%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $9,772.30

The above analysis shows the ten year investment result worked out poorly, with an annualized rate of return of -0.23%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $9,772.30 today (as of 10/29/2019). On a total return basis, that’s a result of -2.24% (something to think about: how might VIAB shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Beyond share price change, another component of VIAB’s total return these past 10 years has been the payment by Viacom Inc of $9.82/share in dividends to shareholders. Automatic reinvestment of dividends can be a wonderful way to compound returns, and for the above calculations we presume that dividends are reinvested into additional shares of stock. (For the purpose of these calcuations, the closing price on ex-date is used).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of .8/share, we calculate that VIAB has a current yield of approximately 3.69%. 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 $27.59/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 13.37%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“The four most dangerous words in investing are: ‘this time it’s different.'” — Sir John Templeton