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“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

— Warren Buffett

One of the most important things investors can learn from Warren Buffett, is about how they approach their time horizon for an investment into a stock under consideration. Because immediately after buying shares of a given stock, investors will then be able to check on the day-to-day (and even minute-by-minute) market value. Some days the stock market will be up, other days down. These daily fluctuations can often distract from the long-term view. Today, we look at the result of a twenty year holding period for an investor who was considering Eversource Energy (NYSE: ES) back in 2000, bought the stock, ignored the market’s ups and downs, and simply held through to today.

Start date: 11/24/2000


End date: 11/20/2020
Start price/share: $20.00
End price/share: $88.63
Starting shares: 500.00
Ending shares: 954.28
Dividends reinvested/share: $23.94
Total return: 745.78%
Average annual return: 11.26%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $84,509.99

As shown above, the twenty year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 11.26%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $84,509.99 today (as of 11/20/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 745.78% (something to think about: how might ES shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Eversource Energy paid investors a total of $23.94/share in dividends over the 20 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 2.27/share, we calculate that ES has a current yield of approximately 2.56%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 2.27 against the original $20.00/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 12.80%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks.” — Benjamin Graham