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“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

— Warren Buffett

The wisdom of Warren Buffett reflects a value-based philosophy about investing that says investors are buying shares in a business, and encourages strategic thinking about investment time horizon. Before placing a buy order for a stock, a great question we can ask is whether we would still be comfortable making the investment if we couldn’t sell it for many years?

A “buy-and-hold” approach may call for a time horizon that spans a long period of time — maybe even lasting for a twenty year holding period. Suppose such a “buy-and-hold” investor had looked into buying shares of Texas Instruments Inc. (NASD: TXN) back in 2001. Let’s take a look at how such an investment would have worked out for that buy-and-hold investor:

Start date: 06/18/2001


End date: 06/16/2021
Start price/share: $31.13
End price/share: $187.73
Starting shares: 321.23
Ending shares: 459.22
Dividends reinvested/share: $22.54
Total return: 762.09%
Average annual return: 11.37%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $86,247.95

As we can see, the twenty year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 11.37%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $86,247.95 today (as of 06/16/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 762.09% (something to think about: how might TXN shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Texas Instruments Inc. paid investors a total of $22.54/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 4.08/share, we calculate that TXN has a current yield of approximately 2.17%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 4.08 against the original $31.13/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 6.97%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“Value investing is at its core the marriage of a contrarian streak and a calculator.” — Seth Klarman