Photo credit:

“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 ten year 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 United Parcel Service Inc (NYSE: UPS), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a ten year holding period.

Start date: 06/07/2012


End date: 06/06/2022
Start price/share: $75.47
End price/share: $187.11
Starting shares: 132.50
Ending shares: 177.98
Dividends reinvested/share: $34.30
Total return: 233.02%
Average annual return: 12.78%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $33,301.52

The above analysis shows the ten year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 12.78%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $33,301.52 today (as of 06/06/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 233.02% (something to think about: how might UPS shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that United Parcel Service Inc paid investors a total of $34.30/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 6.08/share, we calculate that UPS has a current yield of approximately 3.25%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 6.08 against the original $75.47/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 4.31%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“The best way to measure your investing success is not by whether you’re beating the market but by whether you’ve put in place a financial plan and a behavioral discipline that are likely to get you where you want to go.” — Benjamin Graham