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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 investment philosophy practiced by Warren Buffett calls for investors to take a long-term horizon when making an investment, such as a ten year holding period (or even longer), and reconsider making the investment in the first place if unable to envision holding the stock for at least five years. Today, we look at how such a long-term strategy would have done for investors in Lincoln National Corp. (NYSE: LNC) back in 2009, holding through to today.

Start date: 05/01/2009


End date: 04/30/2019
Start price/share: $11.39
End price/share: $66.72
Starting shares: 877.96
Ending shares: 1,008.27
Dividends reinvested/share: $6.72
Total return: 572.72%
Average annual return: 20.99%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $67,254.52

As we can see, the ten year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 20.99%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $67,254.52 today (as of 04/30/2019). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 572.72% (something to think about: how might LNC shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Many investors out there refuse to own any stock that lacks a dividend; in the case of Lincoln National Corp., investors have received $6.72/share in dividends these past 10 years examined in the exercise above. This means total return was driven not just by share price, but also by the dividends received (and what the investor did with those dividends). For this exercise, what we’ve done with the dividends is to assume they are reinvestted — i.e. used to purchase additional shares (the calculations use closing price on ex-date).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 1.48/share, we calculate that LNC has a current yield of approximately 2.22%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.48 against the original $11.39/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 19.49%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“A lot of people with high IQs are terrible investors because they’ve got terrible temperaments. You need to keep raw, irrational emotion under control.” — Charlie Munger