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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 3M Co (NYSE: MMM)? Today, we examine the outcome of a decade-long investment into the stock back in 2013.

Start date: 12/12/2013


End date: 12/11/2023
Start price/share: $126.58
End price/share: $103.16
Starting shares: 79.00
Ending shares: 109.67
Dividends reinvested/share: $51.62
Total return: 13.13%
Average annual return: 1.24%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $11,311.91

As shown above, the decade-long investment result worked out as follows, with an annualized rate of return of 1.24%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $11,311.91 today (as of 12/11/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 13.13% (something to think about: how might MMM shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Many investors out there refuse to own any stock that lacks a dividend; in the case of 3M Co, investors have received $51.62/share in dividends these past 10 years examined in the exercise above. This means total return was driven not just by share price, but also by the dividends received (and what the investor did with those dividends). For this exercise, what we’ve done with the dividends is to assume they are reinvestted — i.e. used to purchase additional shares (the calculations use closing price on ex-date).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 6/share, we calculate that MMM has a current yield of approximately 5.82%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 6 against the original $126.58/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 4.60%.

Another great investment quote to think about:
“Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.” — Woody Allen