“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 longterm 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:  11/30/2015 


End date:  11/27/2020  
Start price/share:  $36.49  
End price/share:  $50.45  
Starting shares:  274.05  
Ending shares:  321.24  
Dividends reinvested/share:  $6.66  
Total return:  62.07%  
Average annual return:  10.14%  
Starting investment:  $10,000.00  
Ending investment:  $16,203.56 
The above analysis shows the five year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 10.14%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $16,203.56 today (as of 11/27/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 62.07% (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 $6.66/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 exdate 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 2.85%. 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 $36.49/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 7.81%.
One more investment quote to leave you with:
“Cash is a fact, profit is an opinion.” — Alfred Rappaport