Photo credit:

“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 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 ten year holding period for an investor who was considering NRG Energy Inc (NYSE: NRG) back in 2012, bought the stock, ignored the market’s ups and downs, and simply held through to today.

Start date: 04/27/2012


End date: 04/26/2022
Start price/share: $16.63
End price/share: $37.27
Starting shares: 601.32
Ending shares: 722.40
Dividends reinvested/share: $5.19
Total return: 169.24%
Average annual return: 10.41%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $26,927.87

The above analysis shows the ten year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 10.41%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $26,927.87 today (as of 04/26/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 169.24% (something to think about: how might NRG shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Beyond share price change, another component of NRG’s total return these past 10 years has been the payment by NRG Energy Inc of $5.19/share in dividends to shareholders. Automatic reinvestment of dividends can be a wonderful way to compound returns, and for the above calculations we presume that dividends are reinvested into additional shares of stock. (For the purpose of these calcuations, the closing price on ex-date is used).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 1.4/share, we calculate that NRG has a current yield of approximately 3.76%. 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 $16.63/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 22.61%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“In trading you have to be defensive and aggressive at the same time. If you are not aggressive, you are not going to make money, and if you are not defensive, you are not going to keep money.” — Ray Dalio