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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

Such a great quote from Warren Buffett, highlighting the importance of investment time horizon when considering making an investment. In the short run, who knows what the stock market will do? A week or two after buying any given stock, could the entire stock market fall out of bed? Quite possibly! Should that happen, how would you react? It is an excellent question to think about before hitting the buy button.

For investors who take a multi-year time horizon, the important thing is not what happens in the next week or two, but what the result will be over the long haul. Today, we look at the result investors of the year 2009 experienced, who considered an investment in shares of Motorola Solutions Inc (NYSE: MSI) and decided upon a ten year investment time horizon.

Start date: 09/24/2009


End date: 09/23/2019
Start price/share: $33.67
End price/share: $168.47
Starting shares: 297.00
Ending shares: 350.07
Dividends reinvested/share: $12.74
Total return: 489.76%
Average annual return: 19.41%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $58,968.22

As we can see, the ten year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 19.41%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $58,968.22 today (as of 09/23/2019). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 489.76% (something to think about: how might MSI shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Beyond share price change, another component of MSI’s total return these past 10 years has been the payment by Motorola Solutions Inc of $12.74/share in dividends to shareholders. Automatic reinvestment of dividends can be a wonderful way to compound returns, and for the above calculations we presume that dividends are reinvested into additional shares of stock. (For the purpose of these calcuations, the closing price on ex-date is used).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 2.28/share, we calculate that MSI has a current yield of approximately 1.35%. 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 $33.67/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 4.01%.

Another great investment quote to think about:
“Value investing means really asking what are the best values, and not assuming that because something looks expensive that it is, or assuming that because a stock is down in price and trades at low multiples that it is a bargain.” — Bill Miller