Photo credit:

“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 Xcel Energy Inc (NASD: XEL) back in 2002, bought the stock, ignored the market’s ups and downs, and simply held through to today.

Start date: 08/09/2002


End date: 08/08/2022
Start price/share: $9.03
End price/share: $73.90
Starting shares: 1,107.42
Ending shares: 2,444.24
Dividends reinvested/share: $23.67
Total return: 1,706.29%
Average annual return: 15.56%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $180,650.42

As shown above, the twenty year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 15.56%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $180,650.42 today (as of 08/08/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 1,706.29% (something to think about: how might XEL shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Many investors out there refuse to own any stock that lacks a dividend; in the case of Xcel Energy Inc, investors have received $23.67/share in dividends these past 20 years examined in the exercise above. This means total return was driven not just by share price, but also by the dividends received (and what the investor did with those dividends). For this exercise, what we’ve done with the dividends is to assume they are reinvestted — i.e. used to purchase additional shares (the calculations use closing price on ex-date).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 1.95/share, we calculate that XEL has a current yield of approximately 2.64%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.95 against the original $9.03/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 29.24%.

Another great investment quote to think about:
“The right time for a company to finance its growth is not when it needs capital, but rather when the market is most receptive to providing capital.” — Michael Milken