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“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.”

— Warren Buffett

One of the most important things investors can learn from Warren Buffett, is about how they approach their time horizon for an investment into a stock under consideration. Because immediately after buying shares of a given stock, investors will then be able to check on the day-to-day (and even minute-by-minute) market value. Some days the stock market will be up, other days down. These daily fluctuations can often distract from the long-term view. Today, we look at the result of a two-decade holding period for an investor who was considering Duke Energy Corp (NYSE: DUK) back in 2001, bought the stock, ignored the market’s ups and downs, and simply held through to today.

Start date: 12/24/2001


End date: 12/21/2021
Start price/share: $67.26
End price/share: $103.02
Starting shares: 148.68
Ending shares: 389.49
Dividends reinvested/share: $59.51
Total return: 301.25%
Average annual return: 7.19%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $40,109.81

As shown above, the two-decade investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 7.19%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $40,109.81 today (as of 12/21/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 301.25% (something to think about: how might DUK shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Duke Energy Corp paid investors a total of $59.51/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 3.94/share, we calculate that DUK has a current yield of approximately 3.82%. 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 $67.26/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 5.68%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“History provides a crucial insight regarding market crises: they are inevitable, painful and ultimately surmountable.” — Shelby Davis