Photo credit:

“I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five 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 five year holding period possibly?

Suppose a “buy-and-hold” investor was considering an investment into Tractor Supply Co. (NASD: TSCO) back in 2016: back then, such an investor may have been pondering this very same question. Had they answered “yes” to a full five year investment time horizon and then actually held for these past 5 years, here’s how that investment would have turned out.

Start date: 05/09/2016


End date: 05/06/2021
Start price/share: $94.06
End price/share: $194.89
Starting shares: 106.32
Ending shares: 114.08
Dividends reinvested/share: $6.35
Total return: 122.33%
Average annual return: 17.35%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $22,234.88

The above analysis shows the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 17.35%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $22,234.88 today (as of 05/06/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 122.33% (something to think about: how might TSCO shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Tractor Supply Co. paid investors a total of $6.35/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 ex-date is used for the reinvestment of a given dividend).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 2.08/share, we calculate that TSCO has a current yield of approximately 1.07%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 2.08 against the original $94.06/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 1.14%.

Another great investment quote to think about:
“The stock market is a device to transfer money from the impatient to the patient.” — Warren Buffett