“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.”
— Warren Buffett
Investors can learn a lot from Warren Buffett, whose above quote teaches the importance of thinking about investment time horizon, and asking ourselves before buying any given stock: can we envision holding onto it for years — even a two-decade holding period possibly?
Suppose a “buy-and-hold” investor was considering an investment into 3M Co (NYSE: MMM) back in 2001: back then, such an investor may have been pondering this very same question. Had they answered “yes” to a full two-decade investment time horizon and then actually held for these past 20 years, here’s how that investment would have turned out.
|Average annual return:||9.12%|
As shown above, the two-decade investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 9.12%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $57,332.21 today (as of 04/21/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 473.19% (something to think about: how might MMM shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]
Notice that 3M Co paid investors a total of $58.80/share in dividends over the 20 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 5.92/share, we calculate that MMM has a current yield of approximately 2.95%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 5.92 against the original $58.15/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 5.07%.
One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“The four most dangerous words in investing are: ‘this time it’s different.'” — Sir John Templeton