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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 twenty year holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Fastenal Co. (NASD: FAST)? Today, we examine the outcome of a twenty year investment into the stock back in 2001.

Start date: 07/09/2001


End date: 07/06/2021
Start price/share: $3.85
End price/share: $52.46
Starting shares: 2,597.40
Ending shares: 3,785.02
Dividends reinvested/share: $8.20
Total return: 1,885.62%
Average annual return: 16.11%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $198,494.26

As shown above, the twenty year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 16.11%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $198,494.26 today (as of 07/06/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 1,885.62% (something to think about: how might FAST shares perform over the next 20 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 20 years, Fastenal Co. has paid $8.20/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 1.12/share, we calculate that FAST has a current yield of approximately 2.13%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.12 against the original $3.85/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 55.32%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“Our job is to find a few intelligent things to do, not to keep up with every damn thing in the world.” — Charlie Munger