Eighty. Thousand. Percent.

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I’m sure most of you have heard the expression “like watching paint dry”, which suggests something that is insufferably boring. Well, Sherwin Williams (a paint company, appropriately enough) has a really boring stock, but it’s the kind of “boring” that makes people incredibly rich:


Just take a good, long look at that stock. It has several interesting features:

  1. It has been an insanely consistent performer, year after year, decade after decade
  2. The stock has gone up over 80,000% since 1979. That’s the kind of return in which your Uncle gives you a thousand bucks of stock as a graduation gift, and you buy a house with it later.
  3. I tried to look for the most severe drawdown I could, and it was something like 25% during the housing collapse. This is a paint company (and, umm, houses are kind of important to that industry), for Pete’s sake, and that’s the worst they got damaged. Absolutely amazing!

Of course, when one looks at this stock, as I am right now, one thinks, “well, it’s too late.” And maybe it is. But I suspect in 2004, and 1997, and 1988, and 1983, and any other year you could name, the stock looked “too late” then, too.

A lot of stocks look like this these days – – – astonishing performers, but terrifyingly lofty. I think my time would be better spent on a time machine than charts, since one or two positions like this under your belt mean you never have to work again.