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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

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a five year holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Archer Daniels Midland Co. (NYSE: ADM)? Today, we examine the outcome of a five year investment into the stock back in 2015.

Start date: 09/24/2015


End date: 09/23/2020
Start price/share: $42.02
End price/share: $45.16
Starting shares: 237.98
Ending shares: 278.97
Dividends reinvested/share: $6.58
Total return: 25.98%
Average annual return: 4.73%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $12,601.16

The above analysis shows the five year investment result worked out as follows, with an annualized rate of return of 4.73%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $12,601.16 today (as of 09/23/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 25.98% (something to think about: how might ADM shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Archer Daniels Midland Co. paid investors a total of $6.58/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 1.44/share, we calculate that ADM has a current yield of approximately 3.19%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.44 against the original $42.02/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 7.59%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.” — Oscar Wilde