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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

One of the most important things investors can learn from Warren Buffett, is about how they approach their time horizon for an investment into a stock under consideration. Because immediately after buying shares of a given stock, investors will then be able to check on the day-to-day (and even minute-by-minute) market value. Some days the stock market will be up, other days down. These daily fluctuations can often distract from the long-term view. Today, we look at the result of a ten year holding period for an investor who was considering T-Mobile US Inc (NASD: TMUS) back in 2010, bought the stock, ignored the market’s ups and downs, and simply held through to today.

Start date: 10/15/2010
$10,000

10/15/2010
$68,241

10/14/2020
End date: 10/14/2020
Start price/share: $21.30
End price/share: $116.67
Starting shares: 469.48
Ending shares: 584.87
Dividends reinvested/share: $4.06
Total return: 582.36%
Average annual return: 21.16%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $68,241.63

The above analysis shows the ten year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 21.16%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $68,241.63 today (as of 10/14/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 582.36% (something to think about: how might TMUS shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Many investors out there refuse to own any stock that lacks a dividend; in the case of T-Mobile US Inc, investors have received $4.06/share in dividends these past 10 years examined in the exercise above. This means total return was driven not just by share price, but also by the dividends received (and what the investor did with those dividends). For this exercise, what we’ve done with the dividends is to assume they are reinvestted — i.e. used to purchase additional shares (the calculations use closing price on ex-date).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of .6875/share, we calculate that TMUS has a current yield of approximately 0.00%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .6875 against the original $21.30/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 0.00%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“If you are not willing to own a stock for 10 years, do not even think about owning it for 10 minutes.” — Warren Buffett