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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

Investors can learn a lot from Warren Buffett, whose above quote teaches the importance of thinking about investment time horizon, and asking ourselves before buying any given stock: can we envision holding onto it for years — even a five year holding period possibly?

Suppose a “buy-and-hold” investor was considering an investment into People’s United Financial Inc (NASD: PBCT) back in 2014: back then, such an investor may have been pondering this very same question. Had they answered “yes” to a full five year investment time horizon and then actually held for these past 5 years, here’s how that investment would have turned out.

Start date: 05/15/2014


End date: 05/14/2019
Start price/share: $14.20
End price/share: $16.57
Starting shares: 704.23
Ending shares: 866.61
Dividends reinvested/share: $3.42
Total return: 43.60%
Average annual return: 7.51%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $14,362.97

As we can see, the five year investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 7.51%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $14,362.97 today (as of 05/14/2019). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 43.60% (something to think about: how might PBCT shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that People’s United Financial Inc paid investors a total of $3.42/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 .71/share, we calculate that PBCT has a current yield of approximately 4.28%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .71 against the original $14.20/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 30.14%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“Confronted with a challenge to distill the secret of sound investment into three words, we venture the motto, Margin of Safety.” — Benjamin Graham