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

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 five year holding period for an investor who was considering FMC Corp. (NYSE: FMC) back in 2017, bought the stock, ignored the market’s ups and downs, and simply held through to today.

Start date: 01/11/2017


End date: 01/10/2022
Start price/share: $50.94
End price/share: $107.40
Starting shares: 196.31
Ending shares: 211.78
Dividends reinvested/share: $6.76
Total return: 127.45%
Average annual return: 17.86%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $22,742.18

As we can see, the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 17.86%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $22,742.18 today (as of 01/10/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 127.45% (something to think about: how might FMC shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that FMC Corp. paid investors a total of $6.76/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 2.12/share, we calculate that FMC has a current yield of approximately 1.97%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 2.12 against the original $50.94/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 3.87%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“Cash combined with courage in a time of crisis is priceless.” — Warren Buffett