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“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.”

— Warren Buffett

The wisdom of Warren Buffett reflects a value-based philosophy about investing that says investors are buying shares in a business, and encourages strategic thinking about investment time horizon. Before placing a buy order for a stock, a great question we can ask is whether we would still be comfortable making the investment if we couldn’t sell it for many years?

A “buy-and-hold” approach may call for a time horizon that spans a long period of time — maybe even lasting for a twenty year holding period. Suppose such a “buy-and-hold” investor had looked into buying shares of Prologis Inc (NYSE: PLD) back in 2000. Let’s take a look at how such an investment would have worked out for that buy-and-hold investor:

Start date: 04/24/2000


End date: 04/23/2020
Start price/share: $22.00
End price/share: $86.75
Starting shares: 454.55
Ending shares: 1,015.70
Dividends reinvested/share: $31.35
Total return: 781.12%
Average annual return: 11.49%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $88,152.77

The above analysis shows the twenty year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 11.49%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $88,152.77 today (as of 04/23/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 781.12% (something to think about: how might PLD shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Prologis Inc paid investors a total of $31.35/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 2.32/share, we calculate that PLD has a current yield of approximately 2.67%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 2.32 against the original $22.00/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 12.14%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“Never is there a better time to buy a stock than when a basically sound company, for whatever reason, temporarily falls out of favor with the investment community.” — Geraldine Weiss