Photo credit:

“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 2014.

Start date: 02/26/2014


End date: 02/23/2024
Start price/share: $45.80
End price/share: $34.73
Starting shares: 218.34
Ending shares: 330.57
Dividends reinvested/share: $17.80
Total return: 14.81%
Average annual return: 1.39%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $11,479.81

The above analysis shows the ten year investment result worked out as follows, with an annualized rate of return of 1.39%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $11,479.81 today (as of 02/23/2024). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 14.81% (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 $17.80/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 5.33%. 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 $45.80/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 11.64%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“Never test the depth of a river with both feet.” — Warren Buffett