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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

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 five year holding period possibly?

Suppose a “buy-and-hold” investor was considering an investment into Blackrock Inc (NYSE: BLK) back in 2016: back then, such an investor may have been pondering this very same question. Had they answered “yes” to a full five year investment time horizon and then actually held for these past 5 years, here’s how that investment would have turned out.

Start date: 01/07/2016


End date: 01/06/2021
Start price/share: $315.73
End price/share: $734.96
Starting shares: 31.67
Ending shares: 36.01
Dividends reinvested/share: $58.90
Total return: 164.69%
Average annual return: 21.48%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $26,470.09

The above analysis shows the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 21.48%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $26,470.09 today (as of 01/06/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 164.69% (something to think about: how might BLK shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Blackrock Inc paid investors a total of $58.90/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 14.52/share, we calculate that BLK has a current yield of approximately 1.98%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 14.52 against the original $315.73/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 0.63%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“Every day that you’re not selling an asset in your portfolio, you’re choosing to buy it.” — Sam Zell