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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 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 International Paper Co (NYSE: IP)? Today, we examine the outcome of a ten year investment into the stock back in 2013.

Start date: 02/01/2013


End date: 01/31/2023
Start price/share: $39.55
End price/share: $41.82
Starting shares: 252.84
Ending shares: 370.62
Dividends reinvested/share: $16.98
Total return: 54.99%
Average annual return: 4.48%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $15,501.86

The above analysis shows the ten year investment result worked out as follows, with an annualized rate of return of 4.48%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $15,501.86 today (as of 01/31/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 54.99% (something to think about: how might IP shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that International Paper Co paid investors a total of $16.98/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 1.85/share, we calculate that IP has a current yield of approximately 4.42%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.85 against the original $39.55/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 11.18%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“If you have more than 120 or 130 I.Q. points, you can afford to give the rest away. You don’t need extraordinary intelligence to succeed as an investor.” — Warren Buffett