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“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

— Warren Buffett

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a twenty year holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: HIG)? Today, we examine the outcome of a twenty year investment into the stock back in 2000.

Start date: 06/23/2000


End date: 06/22/2020
Start price/share: $53.31
End price/share: $39.13
Starting shares: 187.57
Ending shares: 283.83
Dividends reinvested/share: $19.47
Total return: 11.06%
Average annual return: 0.53%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $11,115.75

The above analysis shows the twenty year investment result worked out as follows, with an annualized rate of return of 0.53%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $11,115.75 today (as of 06/22/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 11.06% (something to think about: how might HIG shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Dividends are always an important investment factor to consider, and Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. has paid $19.47/share in dividends to shareholders over the past 20 years we looked at above. Many an investor will only invest in stocks that pay dividends, so this component of total return is always an important consideration. Automated reinvestment of dividends into additional shares of stock can be a great way for an investor to compound their returns. The above calculations are done with the assuption that dividends received over time are reinvested (the calcuations use the closing price on ex-date).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 1.3/share, we calculate that HIG has a current yield of approximately 3.32%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.3 against the original $53.31/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 6.23%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“Investors should always keep in mind that the most important metric is not the returns achieved but the returns weighed against the risks incurred. Ultimately, nothing should be more important to investors than the ability to sleep soundly at night.” — Seth Klarman