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“I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.”

— Warren Buffett

The wisdom of Warren Buffett reflects a value-based philosophy about investing that says investors are buying shares in a business, and encourages strategic thinking about investment time horizon. Before placing a buy order for a stock, a great question we can ask is whether we would still be comfortable making the investment if we couldn’t sell it for many years?

A “buy-and-hold” approach may call for a time horizon that spans a long period of time — maybe even lasting for a five year holding period. Suppose such a “buy-and-hold” investor had looked into buying shares of Hasbro, Inc. (NASD: HAS) back in 2015. Let’s take a look at how such an investment would have worked out for that buy-and-hold investor:

Start date: 12/11/2015


End date: 12/10/2020
Start price/share: $68.37
End price/share: $88.68
Starting shares: 146.26
Ending shares: 167.18
Dividends reinvested/share: $12.06
Total return: 48.26%
Average annual return: 8.19%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $14,826.18

As we can see, the five year investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 8.19%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $14,826.18 today (as of 12/10/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 48.26% (something to think about: how might HAS shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Hasbro, Inc. paid investors a total of $12.06/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 ex-date is used for the reinvestment of a given dividend).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 2.72/share, we calculate that HAS has a current yield of approximately 3.07%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 2.72 against the original $68.37/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 4.49%.

Another great investment quote to think about:
“A market downturn doesn’t bother us. It is an opportunity to increase our ownership of great companies with great management at good prices.” — Warren Buffett