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“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.”

— Warren Buffett

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a two-decade holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Genuine Parts Co. (NYSE: GPC)? Today, we examine the outcome of a two-decade investment into the stock back in 1999.

Start date: 05/17/1999


End date: 05/15/2019
Start price/share: $31.94
End price/share: $96.42
Starting shares: 313.11
Ending shares: 606.27
Dividends reinvested/share: $34.80
Total return: 484.57%
Average annual return: 9.23%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $58,499.72

The above analysis shows the two-decade investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 9.23%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $58,499.72 today (as of 05/15/2019). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 484.57% (something to think about: how might GPC shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Genuine Parts Co. paid investors a total of $34.80/share in dividends over the 20 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 3.05/share, we calculate that GPC has a current yield of approximately 3.16%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 3.05 against the original $31.94/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 9.89%.

Another great investment quote to think about:
“Know what you own and why you own it.” — Peter Lynch