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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

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 five year holding period for an investor who was considering Amgen Inc (NASD: AMGN) back in 2014, bought the stock, ignored the market’s ups and downs, and simply held through to today.

Start date: 12/23/2014


End date: 12/20/2019
Start price/share: $157.52
End price/share: $243.06
Starting shares: 63.48
Ending shares: 72.45
Dividends reinvested/share: $22.84
Total return: 76.10%
Average annual return: 12.00%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $17,612.48

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 12.00%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $17,612.48 today (as of 12/20/2019). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 76.10% (something to think about: how might AMGN shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Amgen Inc paid investors a total of $22.84/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 6.4/share, we calculate that AMGN has a current yield of approximately 2.63%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 6.4 against the original $157.52/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 1.67%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“The ideal business is one that earns very high returns on capital and that keeps using lots of capital at those high returns. That becomes a compounding machine.” — Warren Buffett