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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

This inspiring quote from Warren Buffett teaches us the importance of considering our investment time horizon when approaching any given investment: Could we envision ourselves holding the stock we are considering for many years? Even a five year holding period potentially?

For “buy-and-hold” investors taking a long-term view, what’s important isn’t the short-term stock market fluctuations that will inevitably occur, but what happens over the long haul. Looking back 5 years to 2015, investors considering an investment into shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. (NASD: JBHT) may have been pondering this very question and thinking about their potential investment result over a full five year time horizon. Here’s how that would have worked out.

Start date: 08/03/2015


End date: 07/31/2020
Start price/share: $84.41
End price/share: $129.40
Starting shares: 118.47
Ending shares: 124.13
Dividends reinvested/share: $4.55
Total return: 60.63%
Average annual return: 9.95%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $16,064.36

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 9.95%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $16,064.36 today (as of 07/31/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 60.63% (something to think about: how might JBHT shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. paid investors a total of $4.55/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 1.08/share, we calculate that JBHT has a current yield of approximately 0.83%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.08 against the original $84.41/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 0.98%.

Another great investment quote to think about:
“As in roulette, same is true of the stock trader, who will find that the expense of trading weights the dice heavily against him.” — Benjamin Graham