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“I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.”

— Warren Buffett

Such a great quote from Warren Buffett, highlighting the importance of investment time horizon when considering making an investment. In the short run, who knows what the stock market will do? A week or two after buying any given stock, could the entire stock market fall out of bed? Quite possibly! Should that happen, how would you react? It is an excellent question to think about before hitting the buy button.

For investors who take a multi-year time horizon, the important thing is not what happens in the next week or two, but what the result will be over the long haul. Today, we look at the result investors of the year 2017 experienced, who considered an investment in shares of Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE: XOM) and decided upon a five year investment time horizon.

Start date: 11/14/2017


End date: 11/11/2022
Start price/share: $82.24
End price/share: $113.95
Starting shares: 121.60
Ending shares: 156.91
Dividends reinvested/share: $16.27
Total return: 78.80%
Average annual return: 12.34%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $17,881.14

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 12.34%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $17,881.14 today (as of 11/11/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 78.80% (something to think about: how might XOM shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Beyond share price change, another component of XOM’s total return these past 5 years has been the payment by Exxon Mobil Corp of $16.27/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 3.64/share, we calculate that XOM has a current yield of approximately 3.19%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 3.64 against the original $82.24/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 3.88%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you’re generally better off sticking with what you know. And the third is that sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make.” — Donald Trump