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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 investment philosophy practiced by Warren Buffett calls for investors to take a long-term horizon when making an investment, such as a ten year 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 American Airlines Group Inc (NASD: AAL) back in 2011, holding through to today.

Start date: 07/05/2011


End date: 07/01/2021
Start price/share: $8.45
End price/share: $21.51
Starting shares: 1,183.43
Ending shares: 1,255.51
Dividends reinvested/share: $2.30
Total return: 170.06%
Average annual return: 10.45%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $27,010.89

As we can see, the ten year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 10.45%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $27,010.89 today (as of 07/01/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 170.06% (something to think about: how might AAL shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Beyond share price change, another component of AAL’s total return these past 10 years has been the payment by American Airlines Group Inc of $2.30/share in dividends to shareholders. Automatic reinvestment of dividends can be a wonderful way to compound returns, and for the above calculations we presume that dividends are reinvested into additional shares of stock. (For the purpose of these calcuations, the closing price on ex-date is used).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of .4/share, we calculate that AAL has a current yield of approximately 1.86%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .4 against the original $8.45/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 22.01%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“Value investing means really asking what are the best values, and not assuming that because something looks expensive that it is, or assuming that because a stock is down in price and trades at low multiples that it is a bargain.” — Bill Miller