Photo credit:

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

— Warren Buffett

One of the most important things investors can learn from Warren Buffett, is about how they approach their time horizon for an investment into a stock under consideration. Because immediately after buying shares of a given stock, investors will then be able to check on the day-to-day (and even minute-by-minute) market value. Some days the stock market will be up, other days down. These daily fluctuations can often distract from the long-term view. Today, we look at the result of a two-decade holding period for an investor who was considering AMETEK Inc (NYSE: AME) back in 2000, bought the stock, ignored the market’s ups and downs, and simply held through to today.

Start date: 08/11/2000


End date: 08/10/2020
Start price/share: $3.18
End price/share: $99.04
Starting shares: 3,144.65
Ending shares: 3,594.23
Dividends reinvested/share: $4.30
Total return: 3,459.73%
Average annual return: 19.54%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $355,725.08

As we can see, the two-decade investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 19.54%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $355,725.08 today (as of 08/10/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 3,459.73% (something to think about: how might AME shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that AMETEK Inc paid investors a total of $4.30/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 .72/share, we calculate that AME has a current yield of approximately 0.73%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .72 against the original $3.18/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 22.96%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“The most important quality for an investor is temperament, not intellect. You need a temperament that neither derives great pleasure from being with the crowd or against the crowd.” — Warren Buffett