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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 above quote from Warren Buffett is timeless, and brings into focus the choice about time horizon that any investor should think about before buying a stock they are considering. Behind every stock is an actual business; what will that business look like over a decade-long period?

Today, let’s look backwards in time to 2011, and take a look at what happened to investors who asked that very question about Anthem Inc (NYSE: ANTM), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a decade-long holding period.

Start date: 06/23/2011


End date: 06/22/2021
Start price/share: $77.72
End price/share: $379.00
Starting shares: 128.67
Ending shares: 149.72
Dividends reinvested/share: $24.52
Total return: 467.45%
Average annual return: 18.95%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $56,761.96

The above analysis shows the decade-long investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 18.95%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $56,761.96 today (as of 06/22/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 467.45% (something to think about: how might ANTM shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Anthem Inc paid investors a total of $24.52/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 4.52/share, we calculate that ANTM has a current yield of approximately 1.19%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 4.52 against the original $77.72/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 1.53%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“As long as you enjoy investing, you’ll be willing to do the homework and stay in the game.” — Jim Cramer