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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 above quote from Warren Buffett is timeless, and brings into focus the choice about time horizon that any investor should think about before buying a stock they are considering. Behind every stock is an actual business; what will that business look like over a decade-long period?

Today, let’s look backwards in time to 2009, and take a look at what happened to investors who asked that very question about Packaging Corp of America (NYSE: PKG), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a decade-long holding period.

Start date: 05/14/2009


End date: 05/13/2019
Start price/share: $15.52
End price/share: $96.27
Starting shares: 644.33
Ending shares: 856.76
Dividends reinvested/share: $16.83
Total return: 724.80%
Average annual return: 23.48%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $82,455.03

The above analysis shows the decade-long investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 23.48%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $82,455.03 today (as of 05/13/2019). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 724.80% (something to think about: how might PKG shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Packaging Corp of America paid investors a total of $16.83/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 3.16/share, we calculate that PKG has a current yield of approximately 3.28%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 3.16 against the original $15.52/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 21.13%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“If I’ve learned one thing in this life it’s this: even if you lose, don’t lose the lesson.” — Daymond John