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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 Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR)? Today, we examine the outcome of a five year investment into the stock back in 2015.

Start date: 09/16/2015


End date: 09/15/2020
Start price/share: $72.36
End price/share: $56.33
Starting shares: 138.20
Ending shares: 189.27
Dividends reinvested/share: $21.78
Total return: 6.62%
Average annual return: 1.29%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $10,662.23

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out as follows, with an annualized rate of return of 1.29%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $10,662.23 today (as of 09/15/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 6.62% (something to think about: how might EQR shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Equity Residential paid investors a total of $21.78/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 2.41/share, we calculate that EQR has a current yield of approximately 4.28%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 2.41 against the original $72.36/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 5.91%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“I believe in the discipline of mastering the best that other people have ever figured out. I don’t believe in just sitting down and trying to dream it all up yourself. Nobody’s that smart.” — Charlie Munger