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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

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 decade-long holding period possibly?

Suppose a “buy-and-hold” investor was considering an investment into Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) back in 2012: back then, such an investor may have been pondering this very same question. Had they answered “yes” to a full decade-long investment time horizon and then actually held for these past 10 years, here’s how that investment would have turned out.

Start date: 09/20/2012


End date: 09/19/2022
Start price/share: $71.94
End price/share: $222.87
Starting shares: 139.00
Ending shares: 173.81
Dividends reinvested/share: $26.60
Total return: 287.36%
Average annual return: 14.50%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $38,745.03

As we can see, the decade-long investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 14.50%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $38,745.03 today (as of 09/19/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 287.36% (something to think about: how might HSY shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Always an important consideration with a dividend-paying company is: should we reinvest our dividends?Over the past 10 years, Hershey Company has paid $26.60/share in dividends. For the above analysis, we assume that the investor reinvests dividends into new shares of stock (for the above calculations, the reinvestment is performed using closing price on ex-div date for that dividend).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 4.144/share, we calculate that HSY has a current yield of approximately 1.86%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 4.144 against the original $71.94/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 2.59%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“You don’t need to be a rocket scientist. Investing is not a game where the guy with the 160 IQ beats the guy with 130 IQ.” — Warren Buffett