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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 3M Co (NYSE: MMM)? Today, we examine the outcome of a decade-long investment into the stock back in 2011.

Start date: 07/28/2011


End date: 07/27/2021
Start price/share: $87.57
End price/share: $200.47
Starting shares: 114.19
Ending shares: 150.24
Dividends reinvested/share: $42.70
Total return: 201.18%
Average annual return: 11.65%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $30,119.62

As shown above, the decade-long investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 11.65%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $30,119.62 today (as of 07/27/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 201.18% (something to think about: how might MMM shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that 3M Co paid investors a total of $42.70/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 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 $87.57/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 3.37%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“There is nothing riskier than the widespread perception that there is no risk.” — Howard Marks