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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

Investors can learn a lot from Warren Buffett, whose above quote teaches the importance of thinking about investment time horizon, and asking ourselves before buying any given stock: can we envision holding onto it for years — even a decade-long holding period possibly?

Suppose a “buy-and-hold” investor was considering an investment into Broadcom Inc (NASD: AVGO) back in 2011: back then, such an investor may have been pondering this very same question. Had they answered “yes” to a full decade-long investment time horizon and then actually held for these past 10 years, here’s how that investment would have turned out.

Start date: 08/31/2011


End date: 08/30/2021
Start price/share: $33.11
End price/share: $498.89
Starting shares: 302.02
Ending shares: 388.46
Dividends reinvested/share: $55.07
Total return: 1,837.98%
Average annual return: 34.48%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $193,767.96

As shown above, the decade-long investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 34.48%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $193,767.96 today (as of 08/30/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 1,837.98% (something to think about: how might AVGO shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Broadcom Inc paid investors a total of $55.07/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 14.4/share, we calculate that AVGO has a current yield of approximately 2.89%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 14.4 against the original $33.11/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 8.73%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“We ignore outlooks and forecasts… we’re lousy at it and we admit it … everyone else is lousy too, but most people won’t admit it.” — Martin Whitman