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“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.”

— 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 Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE)? Today, we examine the outcome of a two-decade investment into the stock back in 2001.

Start date: 07/06/2001


End date: 07/02/2021
Start price/share: $38.00
End price/share: $39.73
Starting shares: 263.16
Ending shares: 540.23
Dividends reinvested/share: $19.09
Total return: 114.63%
Average annual return: 3.89%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $21,454.60

The above analysis shows the two-decade investment result worked out as follows, with an annualized rate of return of 3.89%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $21,454.60 today (as of 07/02/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 114.63% (something to think about: how might PFE shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Pfizer Inc paid investors a total of $19.09/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 1.56/share, we calculate that PFE has a current yield of approximately 3.93%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.56 against the original $38.00/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 10.34%.

Another great investment quote to think about:
“When you sell in desperation, you always sell cheap.” — Peter Lynch