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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

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 ten year holding period for an investor who was considering Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NYSE: CL) back in 2010, bought the stock, ignored the market’s ups and downs, and simply held through to today.

Start date: 02/16/2010


End date: 02/12/2020
Start price/share: $40.31
End price/share: $75.95
Starting shares: 248.08
Ending shares: 314.33
Dividends reinvested/share: $14.34
Total return: 138.73%
Average annual return: 9.10%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $23,880.33

As shown above, the ten year investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 9.10%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $23,880.33 today (as of 02/12/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 138.73% (something to think about: how might CL shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Colgate-Palmolive Co. paid investors a total of $14.34/share in dividends over the 10 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 1.72/share, we calculate that CL has a current yield of approximately 2.26%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.72 against the original $40.31/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 5.61%.

Another great investment quote to think about:
“The greater the passive income you can build, the freer you will become.” — Todd Fleming