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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

One of the most important things investors can learn from Warren Buffett, is about how they approach their time horizon for an investment into a stock under consideration. Because immediately after buying shares of a given stock, investors will then be able to check on the day-to-day (and even minute-by-minute) market value. Some days the stock market will be up, other days down. These daily fluctuations can often distract from the long-term view. Today, we look at the result of a decade-long holding period for an investor who was considering Micron Technology Inc. (NASD: MU) back in 2014, bought the stock, ignored the market’s ups and downs, and simply held through to today.

Start date: 03/13/2014


End date: 03/12/2024
Start price/share: $24.11
End price/share: $97.42
Starting shares: 414.77
Ending shares: 421.93
Dividends reinvested/share: $1.10
Total return: 311.04%
Average annual return: 15.17%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $41,089.40

As we can see, the decade-long investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 15.17%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $41,089.40 today (as of 03/12/2024). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 311.04% (something to think about: how might MU shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Micron Technology Inc. paid investors a total of $1.10/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 .46/share, we calculate that MU has a current yield of approximately 0.47%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .46 against the original $24.11/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 1.95%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“People who succeed in the stock market also accept periodic losses, setbacks, and unexpected occurrences. Calamitous drops do not scare them out of the game.” — Peter Lynch