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“I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.”

— Warren Buffett

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a five year holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP)? Today, we examine the outcome of a five year investment into the stock back in 2014.

Start date: 05/14/2014


End date: 05/13/2019
Start price/share: $78.53
End price/share: $61.19
Starting shares: 127.34
Ending shares: 148.15
Dividends reinvested/share: $8.92
Total return: -9.34%
Average annual return: -1.94%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $9,066.91

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out poorly, with an annualized rate of return of -1.94%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $9,066.91 today (as of 05/13/2019). On a total return basis, that’s a result of -9.34% (something to think about: how might COP shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that ConocoPhillips paid investors a total of $8.92/share in dividends over the 5 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 1.22/share, we calculate that COP has a current yield of approximately 1.99%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.22 against the original $78.53/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 2.53%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“A risk-reward ratio is important, but so is an aggravation-satisfaction ratio.” — Muriel Siebert