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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 above quote from Warren Buffett is timeless, and brings into focus the choice about time horizon that any investor should think about before buying a stock they are considering. Behind every stock is an actual business; what will that business look like over a decade-long period?

Today, let’s look backwards in time to 2012, and take a look at what happened to investors who asked that very question about Genuine Parts Co. (NYSE: GPC), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a decade-long holding period.

Start date: 05/24/2012


End date: 05/23/2022
Start price/share: $61.96
End price/share: $129.64
Starting shares: 161.39
Ending shares: 215.56
Dividends reinvested/share: $26.97
Total return: 179.46%
Average annual return: 10.82%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $27,944.97

The above analysis shows the decade-long investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 10.82%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $27,944.97 today (as of 05/23/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 179.46% (something to think about: how might GPC shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Genuine Parts Co. paid investors a total of $26.97/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 3.58/share, we calculate that GPC has a current yield of approximately 2.76%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 3.58 against the original $61.96/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 4.45%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“Although it’s easy to forget sometimes, a share is not a lottery ticket… it’s part-ownership of a business.” — Peter Lynch