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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 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: 10/05/2001


End date: 10/04/2021
Start price/share: $39.65
End price/share: $42.42
Starting shares: 252.21
Ending shares: 521.07
Dividends reinvested/share: $19.38
Total return: 121.04%
Average annual return: 4.04%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $22,089.98

As we can see, the two-decade investment result worked out as follows, with an annualized rate of return of 4.04%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $22,089.98 today (as of 10/04/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 121.04% (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 $19.38/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 3.68%. 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 $39.65/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 9.28%.

Another great investment quote to think about:
“The greater the passive income you can build, the freer you will become.” — Todd Fleming