Photo credit:

“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.”

— Warren Buffett

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a two-decade holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C)? Today, we examine the outcome of a two-decade investment into the stock back in 2003.

Start date: 01/21/2003


End date: 01/18/2023
Start price/share: $361.40
End price/share: $49.43
Starting shares: 27.67
Ending shares: 42.53
Dividends reinvested/share: $108.37
Total return: -78.98%
Average annual return: -7.50%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $2,102.08

As shown above, the two-decade investment result worked out poorly, with an annualized rate of return of -7.50%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $2,102.08 today (as of 01/18/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of -78.98% (something to think about: how might C 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, Citigroup Inc has paid $108.37/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 2.04/share, we calculate that C has a current yield of approximately 4.13%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 2.04 against the original $361.40/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 1.14%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“The individual investor should act consistently as an investor and not as a speculator. This means that he should be able to justify every purchase he makes and each price he pays by impersonal, objective reasoning that satisfies him that he is getting more than his money’s worth for his purchase.” — Benjamin Graham