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“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

— Warren Buffett

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a twenty year holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE: WFC)? Today, we examine the outcome of a twenty year investment into the stock back in 2002.

Start date: 07/29/2002


End date: 07/26/2022
Start price/share: $24.78
End price/share: $42.90
Starting shares: 403.55
Ending shares: 708.69
Dividends reinvested/share: $21.48
Total return: 204.03%
Average annual return: 5.72%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $30,428.14

As shown above, the twenty year investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 5.72%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $30,428.14 today (as of 07/26/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 204.03% (something to think about: how might WFC shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Always an important consideration with a dividend-paying company is: should we reinvest our dividends?Over the past 20 years, Wells Fargo & Co has paid $21.48/share in dividends. For the above analysis, we assume that the investor reinvests dividends into new shares of stock (for the above calculations, the reinvestment is performed using closing price on ex-div date for that dividend).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 1/share, we calculate that WFC has a current yield of approximately 2.33%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1 against the original $24.78/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 9.40%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“The most important thing about an investment philosophy is that you have one.” — David Booth