“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”
— Warren Buffett
A critical pearl of wisdom from Warren Buffett teaches us that with any potential stock investment we may make, as soon as our buy order is filled we will have a choice: to remain a co-owner of that company for the long haul, or to react to the inevitable short-term ups and downs that the stock market is famous for (sometimes sharp ups and downs).
The reality of this choice forces us to challenge our confidence in any given company we might invest into, and keep our eyes on the long-term time horizon. The market may go up and down the interim, but over a decade-long holding period, will the investment succeed?
Back in 2010, investors may have been asking themselves that very question about AFLAC Inc (NYSE: AFL). Let’s examine what would have happened over a decade-long holding period, had you invested in AFL shares back in 2010 and held on.
|Average annual return:||8.24%|
As shown above, the decade-long investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 8.24%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $22,073.84 today (as of 12/04/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 120.68% (something to think about: how might AFL shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]
Dividends are always an important investment factor to consider, and AFLAC Inc has paid $8.47/share in dividends to shareholders over the past 10 years we looked at above. Many an investor will only invest in stocks that pay dividends, so this component of total return is always an important consideration. Automated reinvestment of dividends into additional shares of stock can be a great way for an investor to compound their returns. The above calculations are done with the assuption that dividends received over time are reinvested (the calcuations use the closing price on ex-date).
Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 1.32/share, we calculate that AFL 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 1.32 against the original $26.87/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 10.61%.
Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“I made my money by selling too soon.” — Bernard Baruch