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“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.”

— Warren Buffett

Such a great quote from Warren Buffett, highlighting the importance of investment time horizon when considering making an investment. In the short run, who knows what the stock market will do? A week or two after buying any given stock, could the entire stock market fall out of bed? Quite possibly! Should that happen, how would you react? It is an excellent question to think about before hitting the buy button.

For investors who take a multi-year time horizon, the important thing is not what happens in the next week or two, but what the result will be over the long haul. Today, we look at the result investors of the year 2001 experienced, who considered an investment in shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc (the (NYSE: GS) and decided upon a two-decade investment time horizon.

Start date: 04/30/2001


End date: 04/28/2021
Start price/share: $91.10
End price/share: $348.11
Starting shares: 109.77
Ending shares: 139.80
Dividends reinvested/share: $39.67
Total return: 386.67%
Average annual return: 8.23%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $48,667.10

The above analysis shows the two-decade investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 8.23%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $48,667.10 today (as of 04/28/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 386.67% (something to think about: how might GS shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Goldman Sachs Group Inc (the paid investors a total of $39.67/share in dividends over the 20 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 5/share, we calculate that GS has a current yield of approximately 1.44%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 5 against the original $91.10/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 1.58%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“I learned early that there is nothing new in Wall Street. There can’t be because speculation is as old as the hills. Whatever happens in the stock market today has happened before and will happen again. I’ve never forgotten that.” — Jesse Livermore