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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 The Gap Inc (NYSE: GPS)? Today, we examine the outcome of a decade-long investment into the stock back in 2011.

Start date: 12/15/2011


End date: 12/14/2021
Start price/share: $18.36
End price/share: $16.51
Starting shares: 544.66
Ending shares: 710.72
Dividends reinvested/share: $7.38
Total return: 17.34%
Average annual return: 1.61%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $11,732.82

As shown above, the decade-long investment result worked out as follows, with an annualized rate of return of 1.61%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $11,732.82 today (as of 12/14/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 17.34% (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.]

Beyond share price change, another component of GPS’s total return these past 10 years has been the payment by The Gap Inc of $7.38/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 .48/share, we calculate that GPS has a current yield of approximately 2.91%. 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 $18.36/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 15.85%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“As time goes on, I get more and more convinced that the right method of investment is to put fairly large sums into enterprises which one thinks one knows something about and in the management of which one thoroughly believes.” — John Maynard Keynes