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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

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 decade-long 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 Danaher Corp (NYSE: DHR), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a decade-long holding period.

Start date: 11/16/2011


End date: 11/15/2021
Start price/share: $36.57
End price/share: $299.68
Starting shares: 273.45
Ending shares: 286.23
Dividends reinvested/share: $4.61
Total return: 757.78%
Average annual return: 23.96%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $85,768.30

The above analysis shows the decade-long investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 23.96%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $85,768.30 today (as of 11/15/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 757.78% (something to think about: how might DHR shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Danaher Corp paid investors a total of $4.61/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 .84/share, we calculate that DHR has a current yield of approximately 0.28%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .84 against the original $36.57/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 0.77%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“As long as you enjoy investing, you’ll be willing to do the homework and stay in the game.” — Jim Cramer