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

— Warren Buffett

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a five year holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASD: WBA)? Today, we examine the outcome of a five year investment into the stock back in 2017.

Start date: 02/15/2017


End date: 02/14/2022
Start price/share: $84.25
End price/share: $47.36
Starting shares: 118.69
Ending shares: 137.99
Dividends reinvested/share: $8.39
Total return: -34.65%
Average annual return: -8.16%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $6,533.70

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out poorly, with an annualized rate of return of -8.16%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $6,533.70 today (as of 02/14/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of -34.65% (something to think about: how might WBA shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc paid investors a total of $8.39/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 1.91/share, we calculate that WBA has a current yield of approximately 4.03%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.91 against the original $84.25/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 4.78%.

Another great investment quote to think about:
“There is nothing riskier than the widespread perception that there is no risk.” — Howard Marks