“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 American Tower Corp (NYSE: AMT) 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.
|Average annual return:||21.22%|
As shown above, the decade-long investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 21.22%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $68,580.51 today (as of 07/29/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 585.53% (something to think about: how might AMT shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]
Notice that American Tower Corp paid investors a total of $19.46/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 4.4/share, we calculate that AMT has a current yield of approximately 1.62%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 4.4 against the original $46.24/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 3.50%.
One more investment quote to leave you with:
“The person who starts simply with the idea of getting rich won’t succeed; you must have a larger ambition.” — John Rockefeller