Photo credit:

“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 two-decade holding period for an investor who was considering Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) back in 2000, bought the stock, ignored the market’s ups and downs, and simply held through to today.

Start date: 12/11/2000


End date: 12/10/2020
Start price/share: $68.38
End price/share: $234.43
Starting shares: 146.25
Ending shares: 224.16
Dividends reinvested/share: $50.47
Total return: 425.49%
Average annual return: 8.64%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $52,503.66

The above analysis shows the two-decade investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 8.64%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $52,503.66 today (as of 12/10/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 425.49% (something to think about: how might BA shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Boeing Co. paid investors a total of $50.47/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 8.22/share, we calculate that BA has a current yield of approximately 0.00%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 8.22 against the original $68.38/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 0.00%.

Another great investment quote to think about:
“In the long run, we are all dead.” — John Maynard Keynes