“I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.”
— Warren Buffett
This inspiring quote from Warren Buffett teaches us the importance of considering our investment time horizon when approaching any given investment: Could we envision ourselves holding the stock we are considering for many years? Even a five year holding period potentially?
For “buy-and-hold” investors taking a long-term view, what’s important isn’t the short-term stock market fluctuations that will inevitably occur, but what happens over the long haul. Looking back 5 years to 2015, investors considering an investment into shares of AFLAC Inc (NYSE: AFL) may have been pondering this very question and thinking about their potential investment result over a full five year time horizon. Here’s how that would have worked out.
|Average annual return:||15.07%|
As shown above, the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 15.07%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $20,159.35 today (as of 01/10/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 101.62% (something to think about: how might AFL shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]
Notice that AFLAC Inc paid investors a total of $4.61/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 1.08/share, we calculate that AFL has a current yield of approximately 2.07%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.08 against the original $29.00/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 7.14%.
More investment wisdom to ponder:
“Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.” — Woody Allen