“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.”
— Warren Buffett
The wisdom of Warren Buffett reflects a value-based philosophy about investing that says investors are buying shares in a business, and encourages strategic thinking about investment time horizon. Before placing a buy order for a stock, a great question we can ask is whether we would still be comfortable making the investment if we couldn’t sell it for many years?
A “buy-and-hold” approach may call for a time horizon that spans a long period of time — maybe even lasting for a two-decade holding period. Suppose such a “buy-and-hold” investor had looked into buying shares of Iron Mountain Inc (NYSE: IRM) back in 2001. Let’s take a look at how such an investment would have worked out for that buy-and-hold investor:
|Average annual return:||11.25%|
As we can see, the two-decade investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 11.25%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $84,407.48 today (as of 06/16/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 743.59% (something to think about: how might IRM shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]
Notice that Iron Mountain Inc paid investors a total of $23.99/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 2.474/share, we calculate that IRM has a current yield of approximately 5.45%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 2.474 against the original $11.26/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 48.40%.
More investment wisdom to ponder:
“The policy of being too cautious is the greatest risk of all.” — Jawaharlal Nehru