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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

Investors can learn a lot from Warren Buffett, whose above quote teaches the importance of thinking about investment time horizon, and asking ourselves before buying any given stock: can we envision holding onto it for years — even a decade-long holding period possibly?

Suppose a “buy-and-hold” investor was considering an investment into Broadcom Inc (NASD: AVGO) back in 2010: back then, such an investor may have been pondering this very same question. Had they answered “yes” to a full decade-long investment time horizon and then actually held for these past 10 years, here’s how that investment would have turned out.

Start date: 06/18/2010


End date: 06/17/2020
Start price/share: $23.04
End price/share: $313.44
Starting shares: 434.03
Ending shares: 527.76
Dividends reinvested/share: $32.76
Total return: 1,554.20%
Average annual return: 32.37%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $165,410.48

As shown above, the decade-long investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 32.37%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $165,410.48 today (as of 06/17/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 1,554.20% (something to think about: how might AVGO shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Broadcom Inc paid investors a total of $32.76/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 13/share, we calculate that AVGO has a current yield of approximately 4.15%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 13 against the original $23.04/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 18.01%.

Another great investment quote to think about:
“You can get in much more trouble with a good idea than a bad idea, because you forget that the good idea has limits.” — Benjamin Graham