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

— Warren Buffett

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a two-decade holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASD: WBA)? Today, we examine the outcome of a two-decade investment into the stock back in 2001.

Start date: 06/18/2001


End date: 06/16/2021
Start price/share: $41.48
End price/share: $53.31
Starting shares: 241.08
Ending shares: 341.75
Dividends reinvested/share: $17.95
Total return: 82.18%
Average annual return: 3.04%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $18,206.39

The above analysis shows the two-decade investment result worked out as follows, with an annualized rate of return of 3.04%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $18,206.39 today (as of 06/16/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 82.18% (something to think about: how might WBA shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc paid investors a total of $17.95/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 1.87/share, we calculate that WBA has a current yield of approximately 3.51%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.87 against the original $41.48/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 8.46%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“The most important three words in investing is: “I don’t know.” If someone doesn’t say that to you then they are lying.” — James Altucher