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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 decade-long holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold (NYSE: FCX)? Today, we examine the outcome of a decade-long investment into the stock back in 2011.

Start date: 03/02/2011


End date: 03/01/2021
Start price/share: $51.98
End price/share: $34.90
Starting shares: 192.38
Ending shares: 244.36
Dividends reinvested/share: $7.23
Total return: -14.72%
Average annual return: -1.58%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $8,526.99

As we can see, the decade-long investment result worked out poorly, with an annualized rate of return of -1.58%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $8,526.99 today (as of 03/01/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of -14.72% (something to think about: how might FCX shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold paid investors a total of $7.23/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 .2/share, we calculate that FCX 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 .2 against the original $51.98/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 0.00%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“In the long run, we are all dead.” — John Maynard Keynes