“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”
— 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 decade-long holding period. Suppose such a “buy-and-hold” investor had looked into buying shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASD: MSFT) back in 2011. Let’s take a look at how such an investment would have worked out for that buy-and-hold investor:
|Average annual return:||30.63%|
As we can see, the decade-long investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 30.63%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $144,898.91 today (as of 09/08/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 1,349.16% (something to think about: how might MSFT shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]
Notice that Microsoft Corporation paid investors a total of $14.88/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 2.24/share, we calculate that MSFT has a current yield of approximately 0.75%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 2.24 against the original $25.74/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 2.91%.
More investment wisdom to ponder:
“Markets are constantly in a state of uncertainty and flux and money is made by discounting the obvious and betting on the unexpected.” — George Soros