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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

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a ten year holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Capital One Financial Corp (NYSE: COF)? Today, we examine the outcome of a ten year investment into the stock back in 2010.

Start date: 05/05/2010


End date: 05/04/2020
Start price/share: $44.24
End price/share: $61.59
Starting shares: 226.04
Ending shares: 260.61
Dividends reinvested/share: $11.00
Total return: 60.51%
Average annual return: 4.84%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $16,046.58

As shown above, the ten year investment result worked out as follows, with an annualized rate of return of 4.84%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $16,046.58 today (as of 05/04/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 60.51% (something to think about: how might COF shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Capital One Financial Corp paid investors a total of $11.00/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 1.6/share, we calculate that COF has a current yield of approximately 2.60%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.6 against the original $44.24/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 5.88%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“The idea that a bell rings to signal when to get into or out of the stock market is simply not credible. After nearly fifty years in this business, I don’t know anybody who has done it successfully and consistently.” — Jack Bogle