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 decade-long 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 Travelers Companies Inc (NYSE: TRV), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a decade-long holding period.

Start date: 11/30/2012


End date: 11/29/2022
Start price/share: $70.82
End price/share: $187.21
Starting shares: 141.20
Ending shares: 178.29
Dividends reinvested/share: $28.26
Total return: 233.78%
Average annual return: 12.81%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $33,390.23

As we can see, the decade-long investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 12.81%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $33,390.23 today (as of 11/29/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 233.78% (something to think about: how might TRV shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Beyond share price change, another component of TRV’s total return these past 10 years has been the payment by Travelers Companies Inc of $28.26/share in dividends to shareholders. Automatic reinvestment of dividends can be a wonderful way to compound returns, and for the above calculations we presume that dividends are reinvested into additional shares of stock. (For the purpose of these calcuations, the closing price on ex-date is used).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 3.72/share, we calculate that TRV has a current yield of approximately 1.99%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 3.72 against the original $70.82/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 2.81%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“Value investing requires a great deal of hard work, unusually strict discipline, and a long-term investment horizon. Few are willing and able to devote sufficient time and effort to become value investors, and only a fraction of those have the proper mind-set to succeed.” — Seth Klarman