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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 above quote from Warren Buffett is timeless, and brings into focus the choice about time horizon that any investor should think about before buying a stock they are considering. Behind every stock is an actual business; what will that business look like over a five year period?

Today, let’s look backwards in time to 2014, and take a look at what happened to investors who asked that very question about Total System Services, Inc. (NYSE: TSS), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a five year holding period.

Start date: 06/05/2014


End date: 06/04/2019
Start price/share: $30.79
End price/share: $122.96
Starting shares: 324.78
Ending shares: 338.40
Dividends reinvested/share: $2.21
Total return: 316.10%
Average annual return: 33.00%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $41,615.80

As we can see, the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 33.00%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $41,615.80 today (as of 06/04/2019). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 316.10% (something to think about: how might TSS shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Dividends are always an important investment factor to consider, and Total System Services, Inc. has paid $2.21/share in dividends to shareholders over the past 5 years we looked at above. Many an investor will only invest in stocks that pay dividends, so this component of total return is always an important consideration. Automated reinvestment of dividends into additional shares of stock can be a great way for an investor to compound their returns. The above calculations are done with the assuption that dividends received over time are reinvested (the calcuations use the closing price on ex-date).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of .52/share, we calculate that TSS has a current yield of approximately 0.42%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .52 against the original $30.79/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 1.36%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“The most important three words in investing is: “I don’t know.” If someone doesn’t say that to you then they are lying.” — James Altucher