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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 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 Berkley Corp (NYSE: WRB)? Today, we examine the outcome of a twenty year investment into the stock back in 2000.

Start date: 09/25/2000


End date: 09/24/2020
Start price/share: $4.21
End price/share: $59.82
Starting shares: 2,375.30
Ending shares: 3,152.28
Dividends reinvested/share: $9.24
Total return: 1,785.69%
Average annual return: 15.81%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $188,633.93

As we can see, the twenty year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 15.81%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $188,633.93 today (as of 09/24/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 1,785.69% (something to think about: how might WRB shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Always an important consideration with a dividend-paying company is: should we reinvest our dividends?Over the past 20 years, Berkley Corp has paid $9.24/share in dividends. For the above analysis, we assume that the investor reinvests dividends into new shares of stock (for the above calculations, the reinvestment is performed using closing price on ex-div date for that dividend).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of .48/share, we calculate that WRB has a current yield of approximately 0.80%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .48 against the original $4.21/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 19.00%.

Another great investment quote to think about:
“While some might mistakenly consider value investing a mechanical tool for identifying bargains, it is actually a comprehensive investment philosophy that emphasizes the need to perform in-depth fundamental analysis, pursue long-term investment results, limit risk, and resist crowd psychology.” — Seth Klarman