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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 SunTrust Banks Inc (NYSE: STI) back in 2009, holding through to today.

Start date: 06/01/2009


End date: 05/29/2019
Start price/share: $13.80
End price/share: $61.38
Starting shares: 724.64
Ending shares: 840.40
Dividends reinvested/share: $6.97
Total return: 415.83%
Average annual return: 17.83%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $51,566.01

As shown above, the ten year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 17.83%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $51,566.01 today (as of 05/29/2019). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 415.83% (something to think about: how might STI shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Always an important consideration with a dividend-paying company is: should we reinvest our dividends?Over the past 10 years, SunTrust Banks Inc has paid $6.97/share in dividends. For the above analysis, we assume that the investor reinvests dividends into new shares of stock (for the above calculations, the reinvestment is performed using closing price on ex-div date for that dividend).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 2/share, we calculate that STI has a current yield of approximately 3.26%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 2 against the original $13.80/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 23.62%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“Value investing requires a great deal of hard work, unusually strict discipline, and a long-term investment horizon. Few are willing and able to devote sufficient time and effort to become value investors, and only a fraction of those have the proper mind-set to succeed.” — Seth Klarman