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“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”

— Warren Buffett

Investors can learn a lot from Warren Buffett, whose above quote teaches the importance of thinking about investment time horizon, and asking ourselves before buying any given stock: can we envision holding onto it for years — even a decade-long holding period possibly?

Suppose a “buy-and-hold” investor was considering an investment into PepsiCo Inc (NASD: PEP) back in 2010: back then, such an investor may have been pondering this very same question. Had they answered “yes” to a full decade-long investment time horizon and then actually held for these past 10 years, here’s how that investment would have turned out.

Start date: 12/29/2010


End date: 12/28/2020
Start price/share: $65.33
End price/share: $146.91
Starting shares: 153.07
Ending shares: 205.48
Dividends reinvested/share: $29.23
Total return: 201.87%
Average annual return: 11.67%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $30,173.65

As shown above, the decade-long investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 11.67%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $30,173.65 today (as of 12/28/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 201.87% (something to think about: how might PEP shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that PepsiCo Inc paid investors a total of $29.23/share in dividends over the 10 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 4.09/share, we calculate that PEP has a current yield of approximately 2.78%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 4.09 against the original $65.33/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 4.26%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“You can’t restate a dividend.” — Malon Wilkus