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“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.”

— 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 twenty year holding period for an investor who was considering Applied Materials, Inc. (NASD: AMAT) back in 2002, bought the stock, ignored the market’s ups and downs, and simply held through to today.

Start date: 06/03/2002


End date: 06/02/2022
Start price/share: $21.43
End price/share: $117.33
Starting shares: 466.64
Ending shares: 618.46
Dividends reinvested/share: $7.65
Total return: 625.64%
Average annual return: 10.41%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $72,550.35

The above analysis shows the twenty year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 10.41%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $72,550.35 today (as of 06/02/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 625.64% (something to think about: how might AMAT shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Applied Materials, Inc. paid investors a total of $7.65/share in dividends over the 20 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 1.04/share, we calculate that AMAT has a current yield of approximately 0.89%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.04 against the original $21.43/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 4.15%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“Ensure management’s interests are aligned with shareholders.” — Sam Zell