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“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.”

— Warren Buffett

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a two-decade holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Standard and Poors Global Inc (NYSE: SPGI)? Today, we examine the outcome of a two-decade investment into the stock back in 2000.

Start date: 07/31/2000


End date: 07/30/2020
Start price/share: $59.44
End price/share: $352.37
Starting shares: 168.24
Ending shares: 248.65
Dividends reinvested/share: $26.62
Total return: 776.16%
Average annual return: 11.46%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $87,679.31

As shown above, the two-decade investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 11.46%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $87,679.31 today (as of 07/30/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 776.16% (something to think about: how might SPGI shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Standard and Poors Global Inc paid investors a total of $26.62/share in dividends over the 20 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 2.68/share, we calculate that SPGI has a current yield of approximately 0.76%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 2.68 against the original $59.44/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 1.28%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“Searching for companies is like looking for grubs under rocks: if you turn over 10 rocks you’ll likely find one grub; if you turn over 20 rocks you’ll find two.” — Peter Lynch