Here’s a deep dive into the historical returns of Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) shares

Here’s a look at Wesfarmers’ returns…

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When it comes to ASX blue-chip shares, it doesn’t get too much bluer than Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES). Wesfarmers has been around for decades. Indeed, it first opened its doors way back in 1914 – around the same time as the onset of the First World War.

Since then, Wesfarmers has grown to become one of the most influential shares on the ASX share market. Momentous events in its history – such as the acquisition and later spin-off of Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) – have changed the shape of the entire share market.

But how have Wesfarmers shares performed as an investment? That’s what we’ll be checking out today.

How do Wesfarmers sahres measure up against the ASX 200?

So over the past 10 years, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has returned an average of 10.73% per annum. That’s based on the performance of the iShares Core S&P/ASX 200 ETF (ASX: IOZ) to 31 December 2021, and assumes reinvestment of all dividend distributions.

Wesfarmers actually gives us a returns calculator on its website, so we can estimate how much its shares have returned to investors. This calculator tells us that a $10,000 investment into Wesfarmers shares back on new year’s eve, 2011 would have grown to $26,714 by new year’s eve, 2021. 

That’s a total return of 167% or so, or else an average of 10.32% per annum. But this calculator doesn’t include the impacts of Wesfremrs’ dividends. Since this company has historically paid out an annual dividend that equates to a rough yield of between 2-4%, we can add this to its average annual return. As such, we can say that the Wesfarmers share price has been a healthy market-beating investment over the past 10 years.

Here’s how that looks in a visual form (price appreciation only):

Wesfarmers shares performance

So there you have it, a 10-year look at the Wesfarmers’ share price and its performance. No doubt shareholders will be hoping for at least a repeat over the next decade. But we shall have to wait and see what this old company pulls out of its hat in the 2020s.

Should you invest $1,000 in Wesfarmers right now?

Before you consider Wesfarmers, you'll want to hear this.

Motley Fool Investing expert Scott Phillips just revealed what he believes are the 5 best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Wesfarmers wasn't one of them.

The online investing service he’s run for over a decade, Motley Fool Share Advisor, has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.* And right now, Scott thinks there are 5 stocks that are better buys.

*Returns as of January 13th 2022

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns and has recommended COLESGROUP DEF SET and Wesfarmers Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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