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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

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term 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 Lumen Technologies Inc (NYSE: LUMN)? Today, we examine the outcome of a five year investment into the stock back in 2017.

Start date: 11/02/2017


End date: 11/01/2022
Start price/share: $17.46
End price/share: $7.43
Starting shares: 572.74
Ending shares: 899.80
Dividends reinvested/share: $6.20
Total return: -33.15%
Average annual return: -7.74%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $6,684.47

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out poorly, with an annualized rate of return of -7.74%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $6,684.47 today (as of 11/01/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of -33.15% (something to think about: how might LUMN shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Lumen Technologies Inc paid investors a total of $6.20/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 ex-date is used for the reinvestment of a given dividend).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 1/share, we calculate that LUMN has a current yield of approximately 13.46%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1 against the original $17.46/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 77.09%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, ’cause you might not get there.” — Yogi Berra