“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 decade-long holding period. Suppose such a “buy-and-hold” investor had looked into buying shares of American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) back in 2011. Let’s take a look at how such an investment would have worked out for that buy-and-hold investor:
|Average annual return:||13.64%|
As shown above, the decade-long investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 13.64%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $35,943.18 today (as of 03/29/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 259.48% (something to think about: how might AXP shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]
Always an important consideration with a dividend-paying company is: should we reinvest our dividends?Over the past 10 years, American Express Co. has paid $11.95/share in dividends. For the above analysis, we assume that the investor reinvests dividends into new shares of stock (for the above calculations, the reinvestment is performed using closing price on ex-div date for that dividend).
Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 1.72/share, we calculate that AXP has a current yield of approximately 1.21%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.72 against the original $45.91/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 2.64%.
Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“There’s a virtuous cycle when people have to defend challenges to their ideas. Any gaps in thinking or analysis become clear pretty quickly when smart people ask good, logical questions.” — Joel Greenblatt