Photo credit:

“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 ten year holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into The Gap Inc (NYSE: GPS)? Today, we examine the outcome of a ten year investment into the stock back in 2011.

Start date: 10/27/2011


End date: 10/26/2021
Start price/share: $19.43
End price/share: $22.71
Starting shares: 514.67
Ending shares: 671.59
Dividends reinvested/share: $7.38
Total return: 52.52%
Average annual return: 4.31%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $15,253.16

The above analysis shows the ten year investment result worked out as follows, with an annualized rate of return of 4.31%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $15,253.16 today (as of 10/26/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 52.52% (something to think about: how might GPS shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that The Gap Inc paid investors a total of $7.38/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 .48/share, we calculate that GPS has a current yield of approximately 2.11%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .48 against the original $19.43/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 10.86%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“Games are won by players who focus on the playing field, not by those whose eyes are glued to the scoreboard.” — Warren Buffett