Photo credit:

“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 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 ten year holding period. Suppose such a “buy-and-hold” investor had looked into buying shares of CME Group (NASD: CME) back in 2011. Let’s take a look at how such an investment would have worked out for that buy-and-hold investor:

Start date: 02/18/2011


End date: 02/17/2021
Start price/share: $60.57
End price/share: $191.14
Starting shares: 165.10
Ending shares: 252.45
Dividends reinvested/share: $45.73
Total return: 382.54%
Average annual return: 17.04%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $48,274.48

As shown above, the ten year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 17.04%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $48,274.48 today (as of 02/17/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 382.54% (something to think about: how might CME shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that CME Group paid investors a total of $45.73/share in dividends over the 10 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 3.6/share, we calculate that CME has a current yield of approximately 1.88%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 3.6 against the original $60.57/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 3.10%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“If you have more than 120 or 130 I.Q. points, you can afford to give the rest away. You don’t need extraordinary intelligence to succeed as an investor.” — Warren Buffett