Then and Now – Walmart

Then and Now – Walmart

Hey Everyone,

Welcome to another Then and Now post, a continuation of my series where I revisit some older blogposts and either rip them to shreds (because my thinking has totally changed on such subjects, including key stocks) or I’ll confirm my position on some specific stocks or ETF investments.

You can read about my previous Then and Now posts on certain stocks (the good, and the not-so-good!) throughout this post and I’ll link to a few at the end. 

As always, any individual DIY stock selection does come with risks but there are upsides to be had too… 🙂

Today’s post is about my ownership in a significant multinational: Walmart.

Then and Now – Walmart

Like I mentioned in a previous Then and Now post, I actually haven’t owned Walmart (WMT) stock for as long as other holdings.

You might recall that Enbridge (ENB) was my very first individual stock, purchased a long time ago….

Since that ENB purchase over the DIY investing years since 2008-2009 with my online discount brokerage:

  • I’ve added Canadian bank stocks to our portfolio (you know the names….).
  • I’ve purchased more Bell (BCE) and Telus (T) stock.
  • I’ve gravitated to owning more lower-yielding and higher-growth selections in my portfolio, including our taxable accounts: stocks like Canadian National Railway (CNR), Canadian Pacific Kansas City rail (CP) and some Waste Connections (WCN) too. 

Then – Walmart

My records show I made my first purhcase of WMT inside our registered accounts in early 2018, so we’ve been a steady shareholder of Walmart shares for over six years now, after initiating a position under $30 USD per share. 

I bought WMT for the consumer defensive position it offers but also for stock diversification and hopeful for more price appreciation. 

Pre-pandemic, I learned some lessons with my lack of foreign stock diversification and as a result I decided to bolster my portfolio (over time) through mainly low-cost ETFs (although I’ve made a few U.S. strategic stock choices along the way).

Lessons learned in diversification – reducing my Canadian home bias

After focusing on building my DIY portfolio around “TULF” stocks in the early investing years, names like BlackRock (BLK) in 2016 and Walmart entered my portfolio a few years later. 

With nearly $650 billion in consolidated revenue during its fiscal 2024, WMT is well-known as one of the biggest and most valuable companies on earth – and growing.

Now – Walmart

Over the years, like BLK, I’ve been slowly adding to my Walmart position and was recently the recipient of a 3-for-1 stock split earlier this year (2024).

From Walmart’s corporate site:

“Sam Walton believed it was important to keep our share price in a range where purchasing whole shares, rather than fractions, was accessible to all of our associates,” said Doug McMillon, President and CEO of Walmart. “Given our growth and our plans for the future, we felt it was a good time to split the stock and encourage our associates to participate in the years to come. As Sam said, ‘We’re all in this together. That’s the secret.’”

Walmart has increased its annual cash dividend every year since first declaring a $0.05 per share annual dividend in March 1974…and I’ve been along for the ride for the last 6+ years. 

Then and Now - Walmart

Source: Walmart site.

While I certainly don’t have as many shares as Bill Gates does (who does?? – my goodness….) part of my portfolio does mimic a bit of what Bill owns: WMT, BRK.B, Waste Management and Canadian National Railway too. 

Bill Gates Portfolio

Source: https://x.com/CervKnowledge/status/1752009773661233338

You can read about my long-term ownership of CNR below and many other stocks that reveal my portfolio brick-by-brick as well towards the end of this post. 

Then and Now – Canadian National Railway (CNR)

As some point, I will write about when I started buying and what I’ve done with Berkshire or other stocks in my portfolio as well. 

Then and Now – Walmart summary

When it comes to longer-term returns, as part of the handful of U.S. stocks we own, I am hopeful the likes of WMT among others continue to provide some defensive tilt at times/when necessary while generating longer-term returns close to the broader index they belong. 

When I compare WMT to S&P 500 returns (via IVV ETF) or when compared to the low-cost ex-Canada ETF I own for diversification (XAW), so far, so good since early 2018 at least.

We’ll see if the trend continues!?

Then and Now - Walmart 2

Source: Portfolio Visualizer.

I have no intentions of selling my few hundred shares of WMT stock near-term. I will continue to own WMT for portfolio defence, for growing dividends and for price appreciation. 

A mix of portfolio defence and offence seems to be working for us but happy to share more details as time goes on…

Weekend Reading – Playing portfolio defence and offence

Check out more selected Then and Now posts and stock ownership decisions below:

Since 2016, you can see my investment thesis and approach with iShares XAW.

I own a small bit of this tech ETF for growth – which is up over 20% YTD.

I mentioned I continue to own a bit of BlackRock (BLK) stock in the portfolio so here is that link. 

This was my update about owning Telus (T), how long, and why – including now while Telus stock has been beaten up!! 

I also mentioned Waste Connections (WCN) in this post so I’ll link to that. 

But not every purchase is a good one. Far from it! Read on about H&R REIT – and why I kicked this company to the curb!

Do you own Walmart stock? Have you considered owning it? Why or why not?

Thanks for reading and continued success with your investing path too. 

Mark

My name is Mark Seed - the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, I'm looking to start semi-retirement soon, sooner than most. Find out how, what I did, and what you can learn to tailor your own financial independence path. Join the newsletter read by thousands each day, always FREE.

6 Responses to "Then and Now – Walmart"

  1. It seems to me that the analysts were saying a few years ago that stores like Walmart and Costco were going to eat our supermarket chains for breakfast.

    Well, I don’t own the two American stores directly, but I still own shares in three of these Canadian supermarkets, and I’m still waiting.

    Reply
  2. Hi Mark: I haven’t written lately as I was in for hand surgery last week and the doctor used my hand as a pin cushion. 25 needle marks in my palm and fingers the black and blue look and swelling so hard to use my right hand. About Walmart. It’s a great writeup and great points but is still too expensive for me to buy even though it is a great company. With Paul’s comparison to Costco I see it is also a great company but I just find the concept wrong. Is it just me or does it just seem wrong to pay someone for the privilege of shopping in their store and spending your money. It would almost be like paying a yearly fee to a casino owner for the privilege of gambling in their casino. The concept just seems foreign.

    Reply
    1. Sorry to hear, Ronald – I hope you are on the mend soon?!

      I don’t think WMT is too expensive per se compared to COST but that’s just me. Even if it is, not selling, will continue to own and let it grow and/or be defensive for me when things eventually turn.

      The S&P 500 is up about 15% annualized over the last 5-years and closer to 12% over the last 10-years. The historical returns are closer to 9-10%. So….the U.S. market is frothy and things will turn. Eventually when I just don’t know. 🙂

      I don’t have many stocks in my USD portfolio any longer. I sold JNJ a while back. I keep WMT, BLK, BRK.B, WM and a couple of others and that’s it for defensive plays. We’ll see if I am successful long-term = I hope so. Trying to catch up to you. 🙂

      Speedy recovery.
      Mark

      Reply
  3. Your review of Walmart prompted me to take a look at its performance versus Costco’s, which is the only US stock I own in the consumer discretionary sector. Walmart is definitely more defensive than Costco. Its worst performance beginning 2018 was -3.4% (in 2018, nice timing on your purchase by the way) versus -19.1% for Costco (in 2022). In 2022, Walmart declined just -0.5% versus about -18.2% for the S&P500 (VOO ETF). So, imo a good call on a defensive pick.

    On the other hand Costco, while far more volatile, has done extremely well overall. Its best performance beginning 2018 was 51.8% (in 2021) whereas Walmart’s was 30.2% (in 2019). In 2019, Costco appreciated 45.7% versus 31.3% for the S&P500 (VOO).

    Interestingly, Costco and Walmart are neck and neck so far this year with Walmart ahead by a nose and just about double the S&P500 (VOO).

    I enjoy your blog Mark. Always thought provoking.

    Reply
    1. Thanks, Paul.

      Yes, historically WMT more defensive but it has provided me with some growth over the last 6+ years too. We’ll see if that continues long-term?!

      Costco seems very expensive now…just like the S&P 500. That market cannot and does not grow at 15% YoY.

      So far, WMT up 30%+ YTD. I don’t see that continuing but who knows?

      I appreciate your comment!
      Mark

      Reply

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