“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
— 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 twenty 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 Tower Corp (NYSE: AMT) back in 2003, holding through to today.
|Average annual return:||23.46%|
As we can see, the twenty year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 23.46%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $678,466.61 today (as of 01/12/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 6,685.40% (something to think about: how might AMT shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]
Dividends are always an important investment factor to consider, and American Tower Corp has paid $32.88/share in dividends to shareholders over the past 20 years we looked at above. Many an investor will only invest in stocks that pay dividends, so this component of total return is always an important consideration. Automated reinvestment of dividends into additional shares of stock can be a great way for an investor to compound their returns. The above calculations are done with the assuption that dividends received over time are reinvested (the calcuations use the closing price on ex-date).
Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 6.24/share, we calculate that AMT has a current yield of approximately 2.69%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 6.24 against the original $4.23/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 63.59%.
One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“A lot of people with high IQs are terrible investors because they’ve got terrible temperaments. You need to keep raw, irrational emotion under control.” — Charlie Munger