“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”
— Warren Buffett
Investors can learn a lot from Warren Buffett, whose above quote teaches the importance of thinking about investment time horizon, and asking ourselves before buying any given stock: can we envision holding onto it for years — even a ten year holding period possibly?
Suppose a “buyandhold” investor was considering an investment into The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE: SCHW) back in 2012: back then, such an investor may have been pondering this very same question. Had they answered “yes” to a full ten year investment time horizon and then actually held for these past 10 years, here’s how that investment would have turned out.
Start date:  10/01/2012 


End date:  09/28/2022  
Start price/share:  $12.88  
End price/share:  $73.25  
Starting shares:  776.40  
Ending shares:  869.01  
Dividends reinvested/share:  $4.57  
Total return:  536.55%  
Average annual return:  20.34%  
Starting investment:  $10,000.00  
Ending investment:  $63,661.93 
The above analysis shows the ten year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 20.34%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $63,661.93 today (as of 09/28/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 536.55% (something to think about: how might SCHW shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]
Notice that The Charles Schwab Corporation paid investors a total of $4.57/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 exdate is used for the reinvestment of a given dividend).
Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of .88/share, we calculate that SCHW has a current yield of approximately 1.20%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .88 against the original $12.88/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 9.32%.
One more investment quote to leave you with:
“In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.” — Benjamin Graham