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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 Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a five year holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE)? Today, we examine the outcome of a five year investment into the stock back in 2015.

Start date: 06/16/2015


End date: 06/15/2020
Start price/share: $34.04
End price/share: $33.36
Starting shares: 293.77
Ending shares: 353.02
Dividends reinvested/share: $6.60
Total return: 17.77%
Average annual return: 3.32%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $11,775.00

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out as follows, with an annualized rate of return of 3.32%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $11,775.00 today (as of 06/15/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 17.77% (something to think about: how might PFE shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Pfizer Inc paid investors a total of $6.60/share in dividends over the 5 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 1.52/share, we calculate that PFE has a current yield of approximately 4.56%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.52 against the original $34.04/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 13.40%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“If you don’t study any companies, you have the same success buying stocks as you do in a poker game if you bet without looking at your cards.” — Peter Lynch