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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 Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a five year holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: HIG)? Today, we examine the outcome of a five year investment into the stock back in 2015.

Start date: 12/31/2015


End date: 12/30/2020
Start price/share: $43.46
End price/share: $47.94
Starting shares: 230.10
Ending shares: 257.28
Dividends reinvested/share: $5.40
Total return: 23.34%
Average annual return: 4.28%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $12,332.61

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out as follows, with an annualized rate of return of 4.28%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $12,332.61 today (as of 12/30/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 23.34% (something to think about: how might HIG shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. paid investors a total of $5.40/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 1.3/share, we calculate that HIG has a current yield of approximately 2.71%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.3 against the original $43.46/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 6.24%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“If you’re looking for a home run, a great investment for five years or 10 years or more, then the only way to beat this enormous fog that covers the future is to identify a long-term trend that will give a particular business some sort of edge.” — Ralph Wanger