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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 Best Buy Inc (NYSE: BBY) 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: 12/07/2015


End date: 12/04/2020
Start price/share: $30.91
End price/share: $105.57
Starting shares: 323.52
Ending shares: 377.40
Dividends reinvested/share: $8.61
Total return: 298.42%
Average annual return: 31.87%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $39,847.48

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 31.87%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $39,847.48 today (as of 12/04/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 298.42% (something to think about: how might BBY shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Best Buy Inc paid investors a total of $8.61/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 2.2/share, we calculate that BBY has a current yield of approximately 2.08%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 2.2 against the original $30.91/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 6.73%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“A risk-reward ratio is important, but so is an aggravation-satisfaction ratio.” — Muriel Siebert