The Best Dividend Stock for the Next 100 Years

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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

I'll tackle the 10-year question in a future column, but for today, let's take it up a notch. If you had to put all your money in one dividend stock for the next 100 years, which one would it be?

Let's ignore the fact that you likely won't be around to see your results. We'll do this for your grandkids or your grandkids' grandkids.

Stick around, and I'll walk you through my thought process in picking the stock I believe will be the best dividend stock for the next 100 years.

The process
Akin to a man on his deathbed, looking at stocks 100 years out provides us with a sense of perspective we miss in the day-to-day grind. The importance of a company missing quarterly earnings by a penny or even struggling for years during a recession fade away over a century.

Instead, we can focus on just a few guiding principles to whittle down a list of 477 companies. These are the companies that meet minimum requirements for size (at least $2 billion in market cap) and dividends (at least a 2% yield).

The first guiding principle is that the company must be ...

The simpler the business model, the less chance we as investors fail to see trouble coming. There's also less chance of bad management ruining a great business.

This rules out high finance companies like bank superstore JPMorgan and mortgage real estate investment trust Annaly Capital. Annaly's more focused, but both engage in financial instruments that require a hard-to-master-for-a-whole-century combination of skill, timing, luck, and management. As investors, it's very difficult for us to evaluate current balance sheets and management, much less anticipate what kinds of financial innovations Wall Street will cook up in the future.

We can throw insurance companies such as Allstate and sprawling conglomerates such as General Electric under the complexity bus, too. We have to trust the former to charge enough in premiums to properly offset the risks of new policies but also stash those premiums in safe yet profitable investments. See AIG for what could go wrong with that. As for General Electric, with all its divisions (including the bank-like GE Capital), there is a lot of room for miscalculation.

The second guiding principle is that the company has to be relatively ...  

Impervious to disruption
Lack of simplicity takes out many of our 477 companies. Susceptibility to disruption takes out a bunch more.

Every company will eventually get disrupted. There's a steering wheel for every buggy whip, but some change is more rapid than others. Technology-reliant companies such as Microsoft, AT&T, and Lockheed Martin are obviously at risk. Retailers relying on fickle consumer tastes fail here, too (see the trajectories of Montgomery Ward and Sears). Thinking longer term, a currently rock-solid company such as ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) , whose fossil fuels "won't be going away anytime soon," faces increasingly efficient alternative sources. 

And the final guiding principle is that the company has to be ...

Low maintenance
Besides being simple and disruption-proof, a company that's low maintenance is ideal. Capital-intensive businesses like heavy manufacturing and utilities don't fit the bill. Neither do companies like pharmaceuticals that have to continuously replenish their product pipelines. Sorry, Abbott Labs.

The best dividend stock for the next 100 years
After I applied these three criteria, I got from 477 companies down to about 20 companies. If you've paid especially good attention, you may be guessing correctly that the survivors are predominantly companies with strong brands that attend to consumers' basic needs.

They're simple, relatively impervious to disruption, and relatively low maintenance. 

Good cases can be made for tobacconists Altria (NYSE: MO  ) and Philip Morris International (NYSE: PM  ) , which pass all three tests and pump out huge dividends, but looking out over 100 years I'd argue the three strongest of the strong are:



Current Dividend Yield

McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) 1948 3.2%
Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO  ) 1886 2.8%
Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) 1837 3.3%

Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.

Abraham Maslow and the cast of Survivor would agree. Our needs don't get much more basic than food, drink, and hygiene.

To answer the question of which stock is the best dividend stock for the next 100 years, let's go back to the three criteria.

Coca-Cola is the simplest. It's laser-focused on providing the world with non-alcoholic drinks. Furthermore, Buffett has commented that "a ham sandwich could run Coca-Cola."

In terms of disruption, the Coke and PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP  ) duopoly has had to deal with an increasingly diverse market as they've seen the rise of bottled sports drinks, energy drinks, teas, and waters. But Coca-Cola is more than just its eponymous soft drink. It owns brands across the spectrum, including Powerade, Full Throttle, Honest Tea, and Dasani. Coke and Pepsi tend to buy up potential competitors and incorporate them into their marketing and distribution machines.

There is some maintenance in keeping up the branding through advertising, competitor purchases, and brand extensions, but let's remember the core Coca-Cola brand has already proven itself for more than 100 years. All this makes Coke my pick for most likely to be thriving 100 years from now.    

Coca-Cola's prospects for a stable future make it a stock worth paying a premium for. That said, use the market's volatility to your advantage. Even Coke's relatively stable shares have risen almost 40% from low to high in the last year. Be patient and pick up shares of this great company at a good price. Consider the more diversified PepsiCo as well. Your grandkids' grandkids will thank you.

For more great stocks to consider, check out our free dividend report, "13 High-Yielding Stocks to Buy Today." It features another long-term play you can hold for the rest of your life. Simply click here to get free instant access.

Anand Chokkavelu owns shares of JPMorgan, Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, Altria, Philip Morris International, McDonald's, and ExxonMobil as well as AIG warrants. He is patiently waiting for good-to-great entry points into Coke and Pepsi stock. He is also hungry for a ham sandwich, a Coke, and a Pepsi right now.

Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and AT&T are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Philip Morris International is a Motley Fool Global Gains pick. Coca-Cola, McDonald's, PepsiCo, and Procter & Gamble are Motley Fool Income Investor selections. Motley Fool Options has recommended diagonal call positions on Microsoft and PepsiCo. The Fool owns shares of Abbott Laboratories, Altria Group, Annaly Capital, Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil, JPMorgan Chase, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, PepsiCo, and Philip Morris International. Alpha Newsletter Account LLC owns shares of Abbott Laboratories and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (76) | Recommend This Article (178)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2011, at 3:09 PM, ag77840 wrote:

    "Abraham Maslow and the cast of Survivor would agree. Our needs don't get much more basic than food, drink, and hygiene."

    It's sick to say that these companies supply much of the food consumed daily by American citizens. Soda is terrible for the human body and way overpriced. McDonald's uses filthy, mass produced, inferior meat, which provides little to no nutrients.

    It is easy to see why the health of our country is in such grave danger just by looking at the valuations on these companies. If only those in power could wake up and see how our youth are becoming more and more underdeveloped due to diet and lack of exercise.

    Many families drink soda as their main beverage, not realizing that living daily off something so devoid of nutrients cuts many years of their lifespans.

    I am hoping that in America, a country where we hold freedom of the press close to hearts, wakes up one day and realizes how sick the food industry has become. I refuse to invest in these companies because I have a glimmer of hope that one day there will be a greatly decreased demand for Big Macs, Coca Cola, corn syrup, and all the inorganic chemicals/additives put in these products.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2011, at 4:00 PM, TMFDarwood11 wrote:

    "A ham sandwich could run Coca-Cola" is exactly why I don't own the stock. The CEO Muhtar Kent received $24,782,017 in total compensation in 2010. Not bad for a ham sandwich.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2011, at 5:23 PM, TMFBomb wrote:


    The health component ran through my head as I wrote this article. As an investor, I'm betting that we'll still have our food and drink vices 100 years from now (I did eliminate Altria and PM b/c I'm not as sure about tobacco).


    Not bad, indeed. :)

    Fool on,


  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2011, at 6:27 PM, Boomerchef wrote:

    I have to sleep with a relatively clear conscience. I can't do that owning a tobacco company that gives free samples to hook addicts, no different from the drug dealer on the corner. I don't care what their dividends are. There are too many less obvious criminals in the world of finance. None are free - even me - but PM and MO just won't make the cut.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2011, at 6:39 PM, TheDumbMoney wrote:

    How about a Japanese hotel?

    See here:


    Honestly I like all three of these you list, and of all the companies you mention, those are the three I would pick, with KO number 1. That said, I think there is an argument to be made that a really good alcohol company like Brown & Forman or beer companies might actually be better for a 100-year haul.

    Push comes to shove, P&G needs to innovate, more along the lines of Microsoft. Swiffer comes along. Tastes in cosmetics change, etc. MCD 's model is somewhat dependent upon modern agriculture that may not be sustainable for 100-years. KO would be my top pick, but even it does have the health concerns about sugar, etc., and while "drink" is not as necessary as water (though it owns Dasani!).

    More fundamentally, look at that list of the oldest companies in the world, two things stand out: Japanese hotels; European breweries. I'm sort of joking, but it very interesting that so many of the old companies are makers of alchohol in various forms. Obviously to some extent this is corrollation, not causation; that's what existed, maybe that's what was allowed to run as a business, certainly by the nature of technology no "tech" companies could be that old. Still, shows you can run a brewery for 500 years. Not even KO can say that!


  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2011, at 6:41 PM, MegaEurope wrote:

    Buffett had a lot higher returns when he was younger and not focusing exclusively on businesses that will last for 100 years.

    KO is probably the best 100 year stock, but that doesn't mean I'm going to buy it.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2011, at 7:39 PM, hbofbyu wrote:

    Exxon is the better play here - even as energy evolves because it's the big oil companies that have the capital, the cash, the resources to adapt to the future - and we still have at least 100 years of oil left in the ground. In Saudi Arabia 1 barrel of oil is extracted at a cost of $2. When will any other form of energy be cheaper than that? Competition from alternative sources might lower their margins but they have a lot of margin to play with.

    People will always need energy more than they will ever need Coca-Cola or Mcdonalds.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2011, at 8:29 PM, PeakOilBill wrote:

    The only way I could ever see KO going away is if some totalitarian world government took over and closed it down.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2011, at 8:31 PM, JF125780 wrote:

    I usually agree with Motley Fool, but I can't beleive people will still be buying soda's in a 100 years.

    Read what Google has to say about soda's and if you don't stop drinking them then you have a problem.

    sah713 said it better than I could when he pointed out the problems with Americans diet today.

    He forgot to add the kids today can't read the nutritional facts on the items they purchase or even care or know what they mean due to our unionized tax paid educational system.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2011, at 8:31 PM, martianrealist wrote:

    I agree; we are not going to give up our vices that easily. In fact, I think people will rely more and more on fast food and beverages to get through their increasingly busy work days and tightly scheduled weekends. So these brands are here to stay.

    That being said, my grandkids are going to inherit a royally screwed up world from me, so they will be cursing me every waking second for having destroyed the planet. May be I will leave a few KO stocks for them to thank me for at least something :-)

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2011, at 8:33 PM, Basilleaf wrote:

    I think P&G meets a lot of strong competitions in toothpaste and in Chinese market.

    I dond't comsume any product from Coca-cola at any regular basis and so I won't own its stock. It is not health. I read recently articles written in Chinese that Coca-cola's newly tried products (bottled tea etc) don't meet the expectated profit. More and more Chinese now drink tea to avoid too much sugar intake. Even in restaurant, the trend is to order alternative drinks instead of sweat soft drink.

    I think it is worth to consider owning MCD. Although it is not very health but it is convenient when people are on their way and you don't have to eat it every meal. And it is not expensive but have guranteed quality (how important it is in today's China!). I think these two make MCD outstanding in the Chinese market.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2011, at 9:39 PM, dgmennie wrote:

    There are no dividend-paying stocks on the market today that ANYONE can honestly say will even be around (let alone still paying dividends) 100 years from now. In case you have not noticed, the velocity of change on the marketplace is accelerating -- not leveling off or declining. Only one thing happens when 'investment advisors' of any stripe try to predict the future: THEY JUST GIVE CREDIBILITY TO ASTROLOGERS.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2011, at 10:43 PM, BentMike wrote:

    I think if all we wanted to drink was Palestinian yogurt drink (my personal fave) KO would be selling it. They will respond when the bigger WE of us responds.

    McD has the same view - I remember some of the unknown desserts on the menu when I visited Japan in the late 90's. I think Basilleaf really hit the nail on the head - McD is selling on brand trust, consistency, then they are among the uber-efficient. Quality is in the eye of the beholder. If we see behind the curtain as sah713 says - meat quality in the US is really abyssmal. Hard to call it a quality product, but so many people are oblivious. McD has a good recipe regardless of the cuisine and they adapt to that over time. (Not so many burgers sold in the Indian sub-continent).

    I think P&G is set for the big 100 even when the tooth caries vaccine is perfected There are so many similar products, and they can figure out how to run themselves as they have done for soooo long. 1837, for goodness sake.

    I think these are good picks. Fun discussion.

  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2011, at 9:58 AM, TMFBomb wrote:


    Agreed on alchohol. I was strongly considering Diageo. I chose Coke over it as my "beverage" candidate, but I see a strong case there as well.


    This discussion doesn't preclude small caps and growth stocks in a portfolio. I certainly like diversification. This is simply a thought exercise to see which dividend stock is most likely to be around in 100 years.


    It's the least you could do. :)


    Thanks fo the ExxonMobil thoughts. As an owner of ExxonMobil stock, I'd be quite happy if you are proven correct!


    Most of investing is making educated guesses. I would bet a lot of money the world 100 years from now will be vastly different than our wildest imaginings. That said, the 100 years construct I'm using is a good tool to try to figure out which companies have the most stable business models. Plus, it's kinda fun (at least it was for me!).

    Fool on,


  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2011, at 10:15 AM, jmoule wrote:

    I am 75 years old. Holding for 100 years does not apply to my situation.

  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2011, at 11:08 AM, Happymspage wrote:

    I understand that both Disney and Coke Cola both have 100 year bonds.

    I once owned Atchen,Topeka,&Santa Fe Railroad

    Had 100 year bonds. it was so long ago I have forgot the rate of interest for the Railroad's bonds.


  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2011, at 11:14 AM, TMFBomb wrote:


    I don't think living another 100 years fits most of our situations (unless there are a bunch of genetically robust 5-year-olds reading this). The exercise is more to identify companies with strong moats that can stand the test of time.

    Fool on,


  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2011, at 12:13 PM, csbosox wrote:

    I am looking forward to adding KO when it is fairly valued. These are the type of companies to add when there is "blood in the streets."

  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2011, at 1:26 PM, Togsman wrote:

    sorry, can't own securities that hurt children and all Americans, boo on fast food and tobacco.

  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2011, at 1:34 PM, pastreet wrote:

    I like Waste Management. It's not sexy, but pays a steadily increasing dividend. Our population and consumption continues to steadily increase. WM has a lot of innovative techniques and a corner on much of the market.


  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2011, at 2:48 PM, alschaefer1 wrote:

    Another way to look at this question is to ask: what company or companies would be most able to adapt if their main business model was rendered obsolete in the future? For example, which would you be more confident in; ExxonMobil's ability to change after peak oil in so many years or McDonald's resolve if the government were to eventually tighten food regulations?

  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2011, at 2:51 PM, 9sec93lx wrote:

    I WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Without scrolling down the page and using your criteria, I picked Coca Cola as my stock for 100 years.

    Do I get a cookie???

  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2011, at 4:01 PM, RegLeCrisp wrote:

    Drinking Coke and eating at McD's is a major contributing factor to our nation being populated by a disproportionately large percentage of lard asses. These LA's are a boon to the pharmaceutical industry (diabetes medication, bloodpressure medication, etc.) but an incredibly unbelievable burden to the taxpayers who pick up the medicaid/care bill. There are already laws being considered to limit the distribution of this stuff in certain areas.

    Make no mistake, taxpayers and the insured subsidize unhealthy eating choices via higher taxes to cover medicaid/care shortfalls and higher premiums to cover the uninsured. Coke and McD's kill just as many folks as Altria, they just sell products that appear a little less sinister.

    Point being, what we eat and drink may change in the future, what happens after we eat and drink will not change, nor will our need for WATER . Think waste management and water service (SBS, VE, FLS, GRC etc.).

  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2011, at 4:42 PM, dfish wrote:

    How about a little Spam? (Hormel Foods)

  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2011, at 5:29 PM, vaidybala wrote:

    Companies that produce and profit by unhealthy foods and drinks may be outlawed unless they change in future. Question of time and Public Revolt. Energy needs always will be there and will be met by companies that adapt like ExxonMobil. Lots of readers pointed out these and I second as 100 years Friendly.

  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2011, at 6:42 PM, midnightmoney wrote:

    mcdonald's tastes great and it's awesome filling and much healthier than people give it credit for, actually. I think Anand is right, Mikkie d's will not only be around in 100 years, but will probably be in a much more prominent position in terms of dictating the diet of the average American, so people should definitely be investing in it now. I actually read a study that stated as much. I haven't read as much about coke so I can't say as much about that beverage. But I see kids drinking it all the time, so if they're getting set up on it I'd say it must be the way to go in terms of making profits for the long haul.

  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2011, at 8:08 PM, mj2boogie wrote:

    I agree with hbofbyu.

    ExxonMobil, though primarily an Oil & Gas company today, has worked in minerals, coal, uranium, shale oil, and nuclear. They have been around over 100 years, have decades of dividend payments in their history. With one of the best run businesses on the planet and dedication to good management of resources and people, they will be around in 100 years and will be paying a dividend I believe.

  • Report this Comment On April 22, 2011, at 8:10 PM, upndown100 wrote:

    I like WM for the "long haul" too :-) and own some. There was an interesting program on CNBC this week: Trash Inc. WM is well positioned & innovative for global expansion -think China & India with mega trash problems. WM pays ok dividend too.

  • Report this Comment On April 23, 2011, at 11:12 AM, TMFBomb wrote:


    Short on time, so let me respond with some general thoughts on the latest comments:

    1) in terms of being able to adapt to healthier trends, I do think Coke and McDonald's can do so. Even now, I can buy a caffeine-free diet Coke or a Dasani water. I can also go into McDonald's and buy a salad. In addition, I see that ability to adapt when I hear about or witness the customization McD's does in foreign countries.

    2) @9sec93lx...nice job...I will gladly buy you a cookie!

    3) As for Hormel and Waste Management, two separate thoughts. Hormel is just under the 2% floor I set so I didn't consider it for this article. That said, I do believe scientists have proven that spam and cockroaches will be around longer after we're gone. :) Waste Management is an interesting company that is certainly a good candidate.

    Fool on,


  • Report this Comment On April 23, 2011, at 12:20 PM, RegLeCrisp wrote:

    Oh, dividend. I should read the headline first. I'd take SBS. Still water and waste managememt with an intrinsic currency play. Resources will rule in the future and Brazil has them in spades, the real will outshine the dollar/Euro/yuan/ whatever to become the world's next reserve currency.

  • Report this Comment On April 23, 2011, at 12:29 PM, ByHeck wrote:

    I'm surprised that no one mentioned Plum Creek

    (PCL) the largest forest land owner in the U.S.

    It is a renewable resource company. The fast growing population is going to need a lot of houses. Trees grow every day and when harvested can be replanted. It also pays a good dividend.


  • Report this Comment On April 23, 2011, at 6:38 PM, TuckMan30 wrote:

    "He forgot to add the kids today can't read the nutritional facts on the items they purchase or even care or know what they mean due to our unionized tax paid educational system"


    Another person who feels the need to attack the unions and educational system of our country (on a financial website posting no less). I personally teach my Biology students an entire unit on Nutrition, including how to read a nutritional label properly. They know what they are doing and will have better lives because of their knowledge of this topic. Take some advice from a teacher that would help millions in our society today like not comment on something you have no clue about.

  • Report this Comment On April 24, 2011, at 1:39 AM, Billiken10 wrote:

    Could someone explain why a company like the H. J. Heinz Company isn't part of the conversation? I think it meets the requirements to last 100 years, but maybe I'm overlooking something.

  • Report this Comment On April 24, 2011, at 3:54 AM, globalsailor wrote:

    Can you give some history of a one hundred year old company? How many have gotten old and crusty and how many have expanded? What did the top five companies look like over the decades and what can we learn about that for the future? I would like to see the Fool have a more historical perspective, especially in its dividend articles.

  • Report this Comment On April 24, 2011, at 9:47 AM, TMFBomb wrote:


    Bold call on the Real!

    @ByHeck and Billiken10,

    Both interesting contenders!


    Good idea for a future article.

    Fool on,


  • Report this Comment On April 24, 2011, at 5:42 PM, CKH0 wrote:

    Many investors now believe that profit, and as a result yield, are not "enough". That trend is the result of our dysfunctional education system. It is good in that there will be fewer investors available to bid up the price of high dividend companies.

  • Report this Comment On April 24, 2011, at 6:40 PM, oneSTARman wrote:

    HIGH - LAIR_EE_US! I could so easily imagine the Author cornering the market of Buggy Whip polish and Button Hooks. I couldn't take another look at the Article I skimmed after I read those 100 year investment tips - April Fool

  • Report this Comment On April 25, 2011, at 2:55 AM, JOberman wrote:

    Wealthy people have lost sight how to energize the economy. Example: Donald Trump claims to have 7 Billion Dollars and if he would just spend one billion back into the economy. Bill Gates, who has 92 Billion Dollars could spend 5 Billion dollars back into the economy, Warren Buffet, who has 47 Billion Dollars spend five billion back into the economy and there are countless other billionaires, millionaires who could spend billions or millions back into the economy. Those dollar amounts wouldn't affect them at all. But they won't do it, because they have to make money investing it instead. Another example: CEOs who would rather accept a 5 to 25 million dollar bonus instead of using that money to save their employee's jobs. You see America, the wealthy are not in it for the working class, but would rather lay you off and accept their bonuses. The economy would recover if only 'all of the wealthy people' started spending some of their wealth. God knows the middleclass doesn't have enough money to spend any more.

  • Report this Comment On April 25, 2011, at 4:13 PM, articartie wrote:

    I can't believe all the furor over coke/mcdonalds/tobacco/etc. having an occasional coke is, well, refreshing! having an occassional big mac is, well, satisfying. Having a smoke after a meal is, well, enjoyable. having an attitude that makes all those actions/activities, well, pleasing is priceless.

    the old folks (i'll be 60 in 2 months) (does that make me one of the old folks?), used to say everything in moderation. this applies not only to our physical beings but our mental/spiritual selves as well. if your busy being hysterical about all the bogeymen(or is it bogeypersons now?) in the world, you'll become, well, unhappy. can we just smile and enjoy ourselves?

  • Report this Comment On April 25, 2011, at 11:00 PM, mikecart1 wrote:

    When more people find out what coke products do to your teeth and your insides, coke will soon take a hit in stock price to more upcoming drinks like Vitamin Water and 5-Hour Energy.

    I see trends. Trust me.

  • Report this Comment On April 25, 2011, at 11:12 PM, catoismymotor wrote:

    I'd like to throw my two cents in by proposing CNI. It is one of the stocks I sold way too soon.

  • Report this Comment On April 26, 2011, at 10:56 AM, RegLeCrisp wrote:

    @ Arti: believe the furor. No one is talking about a Coke once in a while. We're talking about refrigerators that are full of soda and families that eat at McD's 2-3 times a week! Instead of a glass of water kids come home and have a soda or 2 or 3...every day! If you think there is no harm in that you need to speak to a pediatrician. If you think there are no costs involved in this activity you need to speak to an economist. I promise, (don't take this the wrong way), no one is worried about you having a smoke after a night at McD's, you've earned it I'm sure. People are concerned about a generation of overweight burdens to the nation's safety net health programs. I would institute a 5% tax on soda and fast food and tell Warren Buffet he and his Cherry Cokes can kiss my backside.

  • Report this Comment On April 27, 2011, at 3:13 PM, midnightmoney wrote:

    RegLeCrisp, I salute you and agree with everything you said. Do you think 5% is enough, and what would the effect be, and whom would it hurt? Probably employees of the companies first and worst.

  • Report this Comment On April 27, 2011, at 7:24 PM, TMFBomb wrote:


    A railroad is a good contender...obviously Buffett agrees with you with the Burlington Northern purchase. On the negative side, it's a capital intensive business and I wonder what future improvements in transportation will bring. Of course, I probably would have said that 100 years ago, too!


  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2011, at 12:48 PM, pryan37bb wrote:

    JOberman said:

    "[Trump, Buffett, Gates, and]...countless other billionaires, millionaires who could spend billions or millions back into the economy. Those dollar amounts wouldn't affect them at all. But they won't do it, because they have to make money investing it instead."

    They already pump millions/billions of dollars of their money back into the economy. It's called: a) taxes, and b) investing. They have the highest income tax rates of anyone in the country, and they pay taxes on those investments as well. Additionally, their investments increase the wealth of the companies in which they invest, who can then use it to put more people to work. Your argument would make sense if they were making all that money, stuffing it in the mattress, and not paying taxes on it. And to go even a step further, Buffett and Gates have pledged billions of dollars to their respective philanthropic efforts and are constantly encouraging fellow billionaires to do the same thing. Personally, I'd like to know how many middle-class workers can lay claim to such generosity. Finally, I would call BS on your claim that someone worth $7 bil would not be affected by giving up a billion. That's about 14% of his net worth. How many middle-class citizens with, say, a $60,000 salary would be unaffected by being asked to give up an extra $8,500 every year?

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2011, at 4:41 PM, RegLeCrisp wrote:

    The original argument was weak to be sure, but I love your comparison between billionaires and the middle class. So Gates fortune goes down from 54 billion to say 35 billion and all of a sudden he's worried about the price of milk? I can picture he and his wife discussing the bills: honey, you went over your limit again and AT&T is charging us a $25 dollar penalty, can you call and see if they will waive it?...or, honey we spent $800 on take-out last month, we really need to start eating in more.

    Honestly, what kind of activity is a multi-billionaire going to cut back on if he loses some money but remains a billionaire? Trips to the moon?

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2011, at 7:40 PM, MidasM wrote:

    I notice a lot of comments eschewing KO, MCD, MO, and PM for the "damage" they are causing to Americans, who freely choose to buy their products. Meanwhile, nobody questions the government forcing the rest of us to subsidize the consequences of those choices. So instead of advocating a less oppressive government and a freer marketplace, you are essentially advocating the exact opposite. There may not be any companies worth owning in 100 years if that trend continues.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2011, at 9:11 PM, easyavenue wrote:

    I own WM and ECL for the long term.

    The issue of morality in investing came up in the disclosures. Both Anand and the Fool disclosed owning JP Morgan. After the way JPM conducted themselves during the crisis, and the role they had in creating it, you should be ASHAMED of yourselves for putting the pursuit of money above morality. ANYONE who does business with JPM is condoning billions of dollars in losses by retirement-minded stiffs like us at the hands of JPM. You know what they did and you own them anyway. SHAME ON YOU!!

    How can you claim credibility in advising others re investing? The fact that you own JPM speaks volumes about the lack of a moral compass you use investing. Now we have to take everything you say with a caveat because of your selfish pursuit of money, your condoning my losses at the hands of JPM.

    We should be united standing up and saying I WON'T OWN JPM BECAUSE THEIR ACTIONS LOST ME A LOT OF MONEY. Because owning them now is condoning what they did. Show some spine for once in your lives and choose morality over the pursuit of money. Otherwise you're just as bad as they are....

    Sorry for my zealousness on this issue but you're a Fool, you're supposed to know better!!

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2011, at 11:19 AM, mjpriz wrote:

    The argument seems to be over the health benefits of Coke and McDonnalds. One of the first comments called McDonnals' meat, "filthy." Obviously he does not know what he/she is talking about. McDonnals is one of the best and cleanest processors in the world. That said, let's talk stocks. My vote goes to Exxon. The only way alternative energy sources will become popular is if the government subsidies them. Only fool hardy countries like the U.S. and Europe will do this. China and Russia will not. Their economies will pass Western economies because they will have access to cheap energy. Exxon will still be a major player because they are a global company. In 100 years, the U.S. and Europe will be minor players, but Exxon will still be strong. Finally, if a cheaper form of energy is found, who do you think will be marketing it? That's right, Exxon.

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2011, at 12:27 PM, tylee100 wrote:

    I was disappointed that your article did not include more research. I was expecting a list of the companies that have lasted over 100 years.

    You did make reference to the age in your three picks, but I would have liked to see a list of companies over 100 years old and how long they had paid dividends. Are there any companies that have paid a dividend continuously for 100 years? We didn't find that out in your article. Likewise we did not find out what company publicly held has the record for the longest cotinuous payment of dividends. These facts would have made the article more insightful.

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2011, at 12:34 PM, pharmaperson wrote:

    Several comments have expressed concerns about the health effects of Cocal Cola and McDonalds and from an investment perspective these stocks are really bad picks over the long term as there is a very long term trend of the human race being increasingly concerned about its health. For the same reason, the tobacco stocks considered would be awful choices, although over the short to medium term all these companies are likely to continue to benefit from the growth in less health concious emerging markets. I would rather choose companies such as Syngenta, Novozymes, Du Pont and Unilever which will benefit from long term strong demand for agricultural/food and consumer products without the negative health implications, though admittedly they have lower dividends at the moment.

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2011, at 12:36 PM, pryan37bb wrote:

    "...I love your comparison between billionaires and the middle class. So Gates fortune goes down from 54 billion to say 35 billion and all of a sudden he's worried about the price of milk?...Honestly, what kind of activity is a multi-billionaire going to cut back on if he loses some money but remains a billionaire? Trips to the moon?"

    Yeah fair enough, I could have come up with a better analogy than I'd used, but the point I was after is that anyone being asked to give up 15% of their money, on top of their taxes and expenses and everything, is not gonna be a happy camper. And it's easy for middle class people to point at rich people and say that they don't need billions of dollars to get by, but I contend that if they could step into the shoes of someone who worked hard building up their wealth so that their family could live comfortably and was then asked to give up a significant amount simply BECAUSE of their success, the wealthy would not be nearly as vilified as they are. And then I would go back to my other points, that they invest that money and create jobs, spend more on a percentage basis in taxes than others, and several of them have already pledged to donate all or most of their fortunes to philanthropic efforts.

    That said, I'm sure Bill Gates does worry about the price of milk, at least metaphorically. Some of the wealthiest people in the world are also the most frugal, like Buffett living in his house in Omaha that's been paid off for decades.

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2011, at 12:54 PM, RegLeCrisp wrote:

    McDonald's ( I assume we're talking about the place with the golden arches) is a big fan of 'pink slime'. Look it up and decide for yourself if their definition of 'clean' is the same as yours.

    @Midas - thanks for making my point, albeit in reverse. Perhaps you don't know anyone on Medicare or Medicaid and/or can think of a way to exclude fast-food fans and smokers from the programs (please share this, btw). I happen to know the answer: there is no way to exclude them, thus the need for higher taxes on these products so the users can subsidize themselves to some degree.

    Anyone can choose to be a slovenly, wheezing lard-ass but there should be consequences for such a choice due to the enevitable costs that will be born by all. Will corporations that sell these products impose consequences if left to your free-market dynamics? Will consumers be educated in the potential harmful effects of their eating habits in your unregulated free market world?

    All I want to do is make money, my point is that these companies may face an uphill road if faced with a gradually enlightened populace intent on a healthier future or an increasingly bankrupt government both unwilling and unable to subsidize an increasingly unhealthy population.

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2011, at 12:59 PM, RegLeCrisp wrote:

    @Pyran, 100% agree, no one should have to give up anything of course, yet these folks freely do because they recognize the sheer enormity of their fortunes and constantly prove themselves to be true humanitarians as well as capitalists.

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2011, at 1:26 PM, lwellman1960 wrote:

    Wheee!! I win twice!!! I've had KO and P&G in my retirement portfolio for a long time now, and have to say they have consistently brought in a stable, steady ROI.

    If ppl want to talk about the food deal and longevity, there are two out there that have been around since the beginning of the Civil War - Van Camps Pork&Beans and Underwood Deviled Ham. Van Camps is now owned by ConAgra Foods (CAG)(currently a 3.78% yield) and Underwood is owned by B&G (BGS)(current a 4.62% yield). Hmmmm, methinks I will add these to my retirement portfolio....

    None of these are high yield, but none of them are high-risk either...but just talk to those ppl that lost their entire retirement after the mortgage fiasco...I bet they'd tell you they wished they had KO, PG, CAG, and BGS instead of those "too big to fail" banks and brokerage firms.

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2011, at 3:11 PM, living2trade wrote:

    Just sticking to the three choices the author presented - PG, KO and MCD. And, looking at 100 years from now I can imagine the world will need less of sugar water (KO) and fast food (MCD) but still need be clean (PG). So, for 100 years I'd stick with PG...

    And, just for some spice, short MO against it. Tobacco will ( hopefully ) be banned in 100 years...

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2011, at 3:51 PM, rubellmike wrote:

    So, for 100 year dividend companies like these, would you dividend reinvest or take the money and run elsewhere?

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2011, at 5:13 PM, PeakOilBill wrote:

    The big railroads will only get more important in the future. Diesel fuel will get increasingly expensive, so trucking will eventually be limited to local delivery for most items. It will be like back in the 1930's when nearly everything moving long distances, went by railroad or barge. The container business will boom.

    Eventually, I see even the railroads possibly going to electric power. Peak oil will hit a lot sooner than most people now think. When it does, oil products will become ridiculously expensive.

    It will be interesting to see how much diesel will be replaced with cryogenic natural gas liquid. I can see railroad locomotives with tanks of LNG right behind the engines, connected to them with hoses. It is possible, if diesel is either too expensive, or just not available. It will be interesting to see if it will be cheaper to use cryogenics to cool the natural gas to a liquid, or to use the process Shell is now using in its' Pearl complex in Qatar, to transform the natural gas into a room temperature liquid fuel. Room temperature fuels are a lot safer, but the energy loss of the Shell process, as opposed to cryogenic liquefaction, may be too much greater. I'm sure Shell and others have already figured it all out, but I have seen no discussion of the results. Even if the Shell process results in a more expensive fuel, the hassle of cryogenics might make the Shell process more cost effective, because new railroad.locomotives and fuelling equipment wouldn't be needed. Railroads are conservative organizations. They won't adopt cryogenic technology as long as they can get diesel.

    So, in summary, I see the big railroads doing just fine in 100 years. That, in my opinion, is why Buffett is buying them. And Big Oil isn't buying the gas producers for nothing. They know what oil is left, and what that means for natural gas, coal, and yes, uranium. You will be surprised at how attitudes toward pollution will change, if the electricity ever starts going off on a regular basis. People in developed countries literally can't survive anymore without electricity. Nothing works without it.

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2011, at 5:20 PM, boogo2 wrote:

    My mother and father ate at mcdonalds once a week. My father lived to be 82. My mother 87. Vegetarians should be so lucky. Saturated fats are needed for a healthy nervous system. Thats why we need obama care now. Trans fats. Vegetable oils. Doctor reccomend fish oil ( saturated fats.) Imagine that.

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2011, at 6:00 PM, fool32767 wrote:

    Regarding the wealthy paying taxes: Buffett has publicly commented that our tax structure needs revision as he personally pays less income tax than his modestly paid secretary.

    We are kidding ourselves if we believe that the exceptionally wealthy are overtaxed or that their taxes contribute significantly to the economy.

    The wealthy do invest. And we Fools are attempting to do the same. Frankly, we're just not as successful at it.

    2% dividends are pathetic. That may be the best that is available at this time, but still pathetic and most likely will not keep up with inflation.

    If the market collapses again, a double dip recession, those 2% yields should soar. That doesn't mean Fools who buy stock today with a 2% yield will be happy when the yield jumps to 10% because the price of the stock plumetted.

    Am I the only one who believes the US market is more than a bit frothy at the moment?

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2011, at 6:35 PM, bornboring wrote:

    I thought the title refers to the NEXT 100 years, not past 100 years. That should not preclude any new entity with short track record. While past record may indicate a trend, it does not preclude a change of direction of leadership and ergo fortune. There are companies good for 50 years just to be run to the ground lately. So we are assuming steady hands here. WM is a good candidate in the sense that wastes will never be short of supply. It will multiply, just like thirst and hunger. So junk is profitable; so will diseases. I am referring to the generic (less risky) drug business. The generic portfolio can only grow with time. So in a 100 years, it must be very profitable. And it does not need a ham sandwich to run it.

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2011, at 10:59 PM, deadbug5 wrote:

    I think there should be some porno mutual funds. McDonald will kill everyone in 100 years. You have to be kidding about their fake food. Everyone gets sick from it, whatever they do isn't good. How can you take a bun with something on it and you get the runs from it most every time. It is bad for you, to say the least. The key is birth control for the future. We don't want 20 billion people on thei planet unless I get 20 hot babes

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2011, at 11:33 PM, deadbug5 wrote:

    In the next 100 years we will be be in HUGE trouble and people will not be thinking about dividends. Right now it is everyone for themselves and that should last maybe 20 more years and then that is over. It appears to me that no one is thinking about the future rationally. The US has been a miracle for the most part and we have seen the best of it. We adore people like Warren Buffet becasue he has billions but he has done nothing for me, only take as much as he can and he can't take it with him. Americans woke up at 3 Am to watch some idiots in England spend millions of the tax payers money to put on a spectacle and they loved it. So the bottom line is most of us ar idiots thinking eveything is just fun and who cares, while we are being robbed.

  • Report this Comment On April 30, 2011, at 1:22 AM, robertssaunders wrote:

    None of us are going to live for a hundred more years, so who cares what the best 100 yr investment is. Seriously, we should concentrate on safe, but profitable returns with a 5-10 horizon. Also, while I understand the investment case for a high profit addictive drug like tobacco, I just can never stomach putting my money there. If cocaine were legal, it would be a great investment too.

  • Report this Comment On April 30, 2011, at 2:09 AM, lushrimbaugh wrote:

    Is this the Motley Fool, or the Mother Earth News.

    God, I Hate Socialism !! Lets make money !

  • Report this Comment On April 30, 2011, at 2:15 AM, Seathrun1 wrote:

    It all comes full circle. I remember reading TMF Investing Guide several years (nearly 10?) ago, and their first stock pick then was, as they described it, the "First National Bank of Coca Cola." A couple years after their book was out, they had reclassified it as a "market follower" instead of a "market beater." Nonetheless, I still have my KO DRIP which keeps growing every quarter, even though I haven't added any cash to the position in seven or eight years. I think I'll just let it keep growing until I retire.

  • Report this Comment On April 30, 2011, at 2:21 AM, DimLightPrince wrote:

    Although I'm not the first to mention this, surely LAND must be the banker for a 100-year perspective. Whether forests or farms, city freeholds or property.

  • Report this Comment On April 30, 2011, at 3:02 AM, PoundMutt wrote:

    Re: US Billionaires

    If you murdered all 400 and the federal estate tax were 100%, you would not cover the Federal gov't. deficite for the current fiscal year! Then what would you do for NEXT fiscal year!!!???

  • Report this Comment On April 30, 2011, at 10:30 AM, RegLeCrisp wrote:

    Someone mentoned a 2% dividend is nothing. This is a cringe worthy statement. Someone who bought KO 25 years ago may have had a 2% div as well, care to guess what their cost basis adjusted div.(or technically yield) is now? A bit more than 2%, pilgrim!

  • Report this Comment On April 30, 2011, at 12:07 PM, TMFBomb wrote:


    Good question. Complicated answer.

    The research shows that reinvesting dividends is an excellent way to juice your returns if you're investing in high-quality companies. It allows you to dollar cost average into the stock over years or decades even.

    On the flip side, if you reinvest dividends in a company that eventually falters, you can lose everything.

    So, the higher the quality of the company the greater the merit of reinvesting the dividends.


  • Report this Comment On April 30, 2011, at 6:06 PM, RxDan1 wrote:

    Tobacco and Oil Companies should not be recommended--recommend alternative fuel companies that are solvent and are making a dent in terms of management, holdings etc. Hamburgers and beverage companies are okay as long as people develope a healthy choice in terms of moderation e.g.s. Beef, once or twice a week, beverages (diet or sugared), no more than once a day or even less. However, even diet sodas are getting a bad name because of something called MetabolicSyndrome where these sodas may falsly trigger the pancreas into thinking you need to eat more (insulin is secreted helping to burn up stored sugars such as glycogen).

  • Report this Comment On April 30, 2011, at 6:18 PM, RxDan1 wrote:

    Somebody mentioned Trump holdings. GoodGrief !!!! This guy wants tobe president (I don't think so). I don't care how much money he pumps into the market, he has gone bankrupt on at least 3 occasions. His political views do not make him a good investment choice--end of story.

  • Report this Comment On May 03, 2011, at 4:28 PM, gabypanama wrote:

    Coca Cola is investing in all types of beverages, from bottled water to juices, and Exxon is investing in alternative energies. Reason enough to invest in companies that at the moment sell an artificial sugary drink and one that pollutes: they are also doing something about it, and thinking long-term.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2011, at 11:47 AM, warycontrary wrote:

    Guys, always research a stock before commenting...

    From the Coca-Cola site "The Coca-Cola Company believes in offering an assortment of beverages for every lifestyle, life stage and life occasion. Today, over 500 beverage brands are sold in 200 countries. This amounts to 3,300 beverages in numerous categories, such as regular, low- and no-calorie sparkling beverages; fruit juices and fruit drinks; bottled water; sports and energy drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffee."

  • Report this Comment On May 07, 2011, at 7:03 PM, RegLeCrisp wrote:

    Just wait a minute here, Coca-Cola makes other beverages BESIDES Coke? Impossible and no way. Some real rock-star research going on around here. Coca-Cola rides on a magic carpet because of its seemingly unassailable brand, point being the stuff they derive probably 60% (somebody please correct me) of their revenue from is not good for you, in fact it's terrible for you. Any hit to the brand is a hit to the bottom line. This is a POTENTIAL cause for concern. Plus, when you go out and find yourself ordering a juice or sparkling fruit drink do you ask for the Coke brand? Neither does anyone else.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2011, at 7:59 PM, Morgana wrote:

    I may have lost out on some profit, but I know that my investments have not supported killing anyone, polluting anyone (I hope), or poisoning anyone. I sleep with a clear conscience.

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