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“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 Intel Corp (NASD: INTC) 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: 02/14/2011


End date: 02/11/2021
Start price/share: $21.57
End price/share: $60.66
Starting shares: 463.61
Ending shares: 625.86
Dividends reinvested/share: $10.48
Total return: 279.65%
Average annual return: 14.27%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $37,959.66

The above analysis shows the ten year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 14.27%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $37,959.66 today (as of 02/11/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 279.65% (something to think about: how might INTC shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Intel Corp paid investors a total of $10.48/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 1.39/share, we calculate that INTC has a current yield of approximately 2.29%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.39 against the original $21.57/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 10.62%.

Another great investment quote to think about:
“Nearly every time I strayed from the herd, I’ve made a lot of money. Wandering away from the action is the way to find the new action.” — Jim Rogers