Photo credit:

“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”

— Warren Buffett

The above quote from Warren Buffett is timeless, and brings into focus the choice about time horizon that any investor should think about before buying a stock they are considering. Behind every stock is an actual business; what will that business look like over a ten year period?

Today, let’s look backwards in time to 2011, and take a look at what happened to investors who asked that very question about Duke Energy Corp (NYSE: DUK), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a ten year holding period.

Start date: 09/26/2011


End date: 09/23/2021
Start price/share: $59.82
End price/share: $98.40
Starting shares: 167.17
Ending shares: 257.97
Dividends reinvested/share: $34.23
Total return: 153.84%
Average annual return: 9.76%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $25,377.04

As shown above, the ten year investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 9.76%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $25,377.04 today (as of 09/23/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 153.84% (something to think about: how might DUK shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Duke Energy Corp paid investors a total of $34.23/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 3.94/share, we calculate that DUK has a current yield of approximately 4.00%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 3.94 against the original $59.82/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 6.69%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“The ideal business is one that earns very high returns on capital and that keeps using lots of capital at those high returns. That becomes a compounding machine.” — Warren Buffett