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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 Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a decade-long holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE: DVN)? Today, we examine the outcome of a decade-long investment into the stock back in 2011.

Start date: 03/14/2011


End date: 03/11/2021
Start price/share: $88.57
End price/share: $24.64
Starting shares: 112.91
Ending shares: 134.60
Dividends reinvested/share: $6.06
Total return: -66.84%
Average annual return: -10.45%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $3,316.32

As shown above, the decade-long investment result worked out poorly, with an annualized rate of return of -10.45%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $3,316.32 today (as of 03/11/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of -66.84% (something to think about: how might DVN shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Devon Energy Corp. paid investors a total of $6.06/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 .76/share, we calculate that DVN has a current yield of approximately 3.08%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .76 against the original $88.57/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 3.48%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“If you don’t study any companies, you have the same success buying stocks as you do in a poker game if you bet without looking at your cards.” — Peter Lynch