Photo credit:

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

— Warren Buffett

One of the most important things investors can learn from Warren Buffett, is about how they approach their time horizon for an investment into a stock under consideration. Because immediately after buying shares of a given stock, investors will then be able to check on the day-to-day (and even minute-by-minute) market value. Some days the stock market will be up, other days down. These daily fluctuations can often distract from the long-term view. Today, we look at the result of a two-decade holding period for an investor who was considering Standard and Poors Global Inc (NYSE: SPGI) back in 1999, bought the stock, ignored the market’s ups and downs, and simply held through to today.

Start date: 07/06/1999


End date: 07/02/2019
Start price/share: $52.44
End price/share: $234.98
Starting shares: 190.70
Ending shares: 284.22
Dividends reinvested/share: $25.04
Total return: 567.86%
Average annual return: 9.96%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $66,804.79

The above analysis shows the two-decade investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 9.96%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $66,804.79 today (as of 07/02/2019). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 567.86% (something to think about: how might SPGI shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Standard and Poors Global Inc paid investors a total of $25.04/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 2.28/share, we calculate that SPGI has a current yield of approximately 0.97%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 2.28 against the original $52.44/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 1.85%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“In the end, how your investments behave is much less important than how you behave.” — Benjamin Graham