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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

Investors can learn a lot from Warren Buffett, whose above quote teaches the importance of thinking about investment time horizon, and asking ourselves before buying any given stock: can we envision holding onto it for years — even a decade-long holding period possibly?

Suppose a “buy-and-hold” investor was considering an investment into Visa Inc (NYSE: V) back in 2011: back then, such an investor may have been pondering this very same question. Had they answered “yes” to a full decade-long investment time horizon and then actually held for these past 10 years, here’s how that investment would have turned out.

Start date: 04/27/2011


End date: 04/26/2021
Start price/share: $19.72
End price/share: $230.34
Starting shares: 507.10
Ending shares: 545.59
Dividends reinvested/share: $6.49
Total return: 1,156.71%
Average annual return: 28.78%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $125,627.90

The above analysis shows the decade-long investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 28.78%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $125,627.90 today (as of 04/26/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 1,156.71% (something to think about: how might V 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, Visa Inc has paid $6.49/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 1.28/share, we calculate that V has a current yield of approximately 0.56%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.28 against the original $19.72/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 2.84%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“You make most of your money in a bear market, you just don’t realize it at the time.” — Shelby Davis