Photo credit:

“I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.”

— Warren Buffett

The wisdom of Warren Buffett reflects a value-based philosophy about investing that says investors are buying shares in a business, and encourages strategic thinking about investment time horizon. Before placing a buy order for a stock, a great question we can ask is whether we would still be comfortable making the investment if we couldn’t sell it for many years?

A “buy-and-hold” approach may call for a time horizon that spans a long period of time — maybe even lasting for a five year holding period. Suppose such a “buy-and-hold” investor had looked into buying shares of Oracle Corp (NYSE: ORCL) back in 2016. Let’s take a look at how such an investment would have worked out for that buy-and-hold investor:

Start date: 12/07/2016


End date: 12/06/2021
Start price/share: $40.32
End price/share: $88.94
Starting shares: 248.02
Ending shares: 268.93
Dividends reinvested/share: $4.55
Total return: 139.18%
Average annual return: 19.05%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $23,913.71

As we can see, the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 19.05%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $23,913.71 today (as of 12/06/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 139.18% (something to think about: how might ORCL shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Oracle Corp paid investors a total of $4.55/share in dividends over the 5 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 1.28/share, we calculate that ORCL has a current yield of approximately 1.44%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.28 against the original $40.32/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 3.57%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“Ensure management’s interests are aligned with shareholders.” — Sam Zell