“I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.”
— Warren Buffett
The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a longterm investment horizon, where a five year holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Unum Group (NYSE: UNM)? Today, we examine the outcome of a five year investment into the stock back in 2016.
Start date:  03/21/2016 


End date:  03/18/2021  
Start price/share:  $32.32  
End price/share:  $28.47  
Starting shares:  309.41  
Ending shares:  364.68  
Dividends reinvested/share:  $4.94  
Total return:  3.83%  
Average annual return:  0.75%  
Starting investment:  $10,000.00  
Ending investment:  $10,380.24 
The above analysis shows the five year investment result worked out as follows, with an annualized rate of return of 0.75%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $10,380.24 today (as of 03/18/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 3.83% (something to think about: how might UNM shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]
Notice that Unum Group paid investors a total of $4.94/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 exdate is used for the reinvestment of a given dividend).
Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 1.14/share, we calculate that UNM has a current yield of approximately 4.00%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.14 against the original $32.32/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 12.38%.
One more investment quote to leave you with:
“Confronted with a challenge to distill the secret of sound investment into three words, we venture the motto, Margin of Safety.” — Benjamin Graham