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“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

— 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 twenty year holding period for an investor who was considering Mondelez International Inc (NASD: MDLZ) back in 2001, bought the stock, ignored the market’s ups and downs, and simply held through to today.

Start date: 12/03/2001


End date: 11/30/2021
Start price/share: $33.60
End price/share: $58.94
Starting shares: 297.62
Ending shares: 737.29
Dividends reinvested/share: $32.15
Total return: 334.56%
Average annual return: 7.62%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $43,454.48

The above analysis shows the twenty year investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 7.62%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $43,454.48 today (as of 11/30/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 334.56% (something to think about: how might MDLZ shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Mondelez International Inc paid investors a total of $32.15/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 1.4/share, we calculate that MDLZ has a current yield of approximately 2.38%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.4 against the original $33.60/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 7.08%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“Most investors want to do today what they should have done yesterday.” — Larry Summers