“I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.”
— Warren Buffett
The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a longterm investment horizon, where a five year holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into PPL Corp (NYSE: PPL)? Today, we examine the outcome of a five year investment into the stock back in 2017.
Start date:  11/03/2017 


End date:  11/02/2022  
Start price/share:  $36.74  
End price/share:  $26.12  
Starting shares:  272.18  
Ending shares:  352.98  
Dividends reinvested/share:  $7.66  
Total return:  7.80%  
Average annual return:  1.61%  
Starting investment:  $10,000.00  
Ending investment:  $9,220.51 
As shown above, the five year investment result worked out poorly, with an annualized rate of return of 1.61%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $9,220.51 today (as of 11/02/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 7.80% (something to think about: how might PPL shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]
Notice that PPL Corp paid investors a total of $7.66/share in dividends over the 5 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 .9/share, we calculate that PPL has a current yield of approximately 3.45%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .9 against the original $36.74/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 9.39%.
More investment wisdom to ponder:
“The key to investing is not assessing how much an industry is going to affect society, or how much it will grow, but rather determining the competitive advantage of any given company and, above all, the durability of that advantage.” — Warren Buffett