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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

The above quote from Warren Buffett is timeless, and brings into focus the choice about time horizon that any investor should think about before buying a stock they are considering. Behind every stock is an actual business; what will that business look like over a five year period?

Today, let’s look backwards in time to 2015, and take a look at what happened to investors who asked that very question about NVIDIA Corp (NASD: NVDA), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a five year holding period.

Start date: 05/20/2015


End date: 05/19/2020
Start price/share: $21.04
End price/share: $352.22
Starting shares: 475.29
Ending shares: 489.08
Dividends reinvested/share: $2.68
Total return: 1,622.65%
Average annual return: 76.65%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $172,284.11

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 76.65%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $172,284.11 today (as of 05/19/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 1,622.65% (something to think about: how might NVDA shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Many investors out there refuse to own any stock that lacks a dividend; in the case of NVIDIA Corp, investors have received $2.68/share in dividends these past 5 years examined in the exercise above. This means total return was driven not just by share price, but also by the dividends received (and what the investor did with those dividends). For this exercise, what we’ve done with the dividends is to assume they are reinvestted — i.e. used to purchase additional shares (the calculations use closing price on ex-date).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of .64/share, we calculate that NVDA has a current yield of approximately 0.18%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .64 against the original $21.04/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 0.86%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“Unless you can watch your stock holding decline by 50% without becoming panic-stricken, you should not be in the stock market.” — Warren Buffett