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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 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 decade-long holding period. Suppose such a “buy-and-hold” investor had looked into buying shares of TE Connectivity Ltd (NYSE: TEL) back in 2011. Let’s take a look at how such an investment would have worked out for that buy-and-hold investor:

Start date: 12/06/2011


End date: 12/03/2021
Start price/share: $32.71
End price/share: $155.95
Starting shares: 305.72
Ending shares: 373.20
Dividends reinvested/share: $14.60
Total return: 482.01%
Average annual return: 19.26%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $58,203.36

As shown above, the decade-long investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 19.26%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $58,203.36 today (as of 12/03/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 482.01% (something to think about: how might TEL shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that TE Connectivity Ltd paid investors a total of $14.60/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 2/share, we calculate that TEL has a current yield of approximately 1.28%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 2 against the original $32.71/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 3.91%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“People who invest make money for themselves; people who speculate make money for their brokers.” — Benjamin Graham