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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 Schlumberger Ltd (NYSE: SLB)? Today, we examine the outcome of a decade-long investment into the stock back in 2014.

Start date: 03/03/2014


End date: 02/29/2024
Start price/share: $91.26
End price/share: $48.33
Starting shares: 109.58
Ending shares: 143.63
Dividends reinvested/share: $14.50
Total return: -30.58%
Average annual return: -3.58%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $6,944.98

As we can see, the decade-long investment result worked out poorly, with an annualized rate of return of -3.58%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $6,944.98 today (as of 02/29/2024). On a total return basis, that’s a result of -30.58% (something to think about: how might SLB shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Schlumberger Ltd paid investors a total of $14.50/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 1.1/share, we calculate that SLB has a current yield of approximately 2.28%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.1 against the original $91.26/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 2.50%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“Anyone who is not investing now is missing a tremendous opportunity.” — Carlos Slim