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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

Such a great quote from Warren Buffett, highlighting the importance of investment time horizon when considering making an investment. In the short run, who knows what the stock market will do? A week or two after buying any given stock, could the entire stock market fall out of bed? Quite possibly! Should that happen, how would you react? It is an excellent question to think about before hitting the buy button.

For investors who take a multi-year time horizon, the important thing is not what happens in the next week or two, but what the result will be over the long haul. Today, we look at the result investors of the year 2010 experienced, who considered an investment in shares of T-Mobile US Inc (NASD: TMUS) and decided upon a ten year investment time horizon.

Start date: 11/16/2010


End date: 11/13/2020
Start price/share: $22.58
End price/share: $128.23
Starting shares: 442.87
Ending shares: 551.71
Dividends reinvested/share: $4.06
Total return: 607.46%
Average annual return: 21.61%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $70,744.53

As we can see, the ten year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 21.61%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $70,744.53 today (as of 11/13/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 607.46% (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.]

Notice that T-Mobile US Inc paid investors a total of $4.06/share in dividends over the 10 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 .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 $22.58/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 0.00%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“It’s not always easy to do what’s not popular, but that’s where you make your money. Buy stocks that look bad to less careful investors and hang on until their real value is recognized.” — John Neff