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

— Warren Buffett

The investment philosophy practiced by Warren Buffett calls for investors to take a long-term horizon when making an investment, such as a two-decade holding period (or even longer), and reconsider making the investment in the first place if unable to envision holding the stock for at least five years. Today, we look at how such a long-term strategy would have done for investors in Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE: MRO) back in 2001, holding through to today.

Start date: 04/02/2001


End date: 03/30/2021
Start price/share: $7.96
End price/share: $10.98
Starting shares: 1,256.28
Ending shares: 1,997.98
Dividends reinvested/share: $8.57
Total return: 119.38%
Average annual return: 4.01%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $21,958.14

The above analysis shows the two-decade investment result worked out as follows, with an annualized rate of return of 4.01%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $21,958.14 today (as of 03/30/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 119.38% (something to think about: how might MRO shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Always an important consideration with a dividend-paying company is: should we reinvest our dividends?Over the past 20 years, Marathon Oil Corp. has paid $8.57/share in dividends. For the above analysis, we assume that the investor reinvests dividends into new shares of stock (for the above calculations, the reinvestment is performed using closing price on ex-div date for that dividend).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of .12/share, we calculate that MRO has a current yield of approximately 1.09%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .12 against the original $7.96/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 13.69%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“Waiting helps you as an investor and a lot of people just can’t stand to wait. If you didn’t get the deferred-gratification gene, you’ve got to work very hard to overcome that.” — Charlie Munger