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“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.”

— Warren Buffett

This inspiring quote from Warren Buffett teaches us the importance of considering our investment time horizon when approaching any given investment: Could we envision ourselves holding the stock we are considering for many years? Even a two-decade holding period potentially?

For “buy-and-hold” investors taking a long-term view, what’s important isn’t the short-term stock market fluctuations that will inevitably occur, but what happens over the long haul. Looking back 20 years to 2002, investors considering an investment into shares of Wynn Resorts Ltd (NASD: WYNN) may have been pondering this very question and thinking about their potential investment result over a full two-decade time horizon. Here’s how that would have worked out.

Start date: 12/13/2002


End date: 11/22/2022
Start price/share: $13.60
End price/share: $75.57
Starting shares: 735.29
Ending shares: 1,326.61
Dividends reinvested/share: $68.25
Total return: 902.52%
Average annual return: 12.24%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $100,173.97

The above analysis shows the two-decade investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 12.24%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $100,173.97 today (as of 11/22/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 902.52% (something to think about: how might WYNN shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Many investors out there refuse to own any stock that lacks a dividend; in the case of Wynn Resorts Ltd, investors have received $68.25/share in dividends these past 20 years examined in the exercise above. This means total return was driven not just by share price, but also by the dividends received (and what the investor did with those dividends). For this exercise, what we’ve done with the dividends is to assume they are reinvestted — i.e. used to purchase additional shares (the calculations use closing price on ex-date).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 4/share, we calculate that WYNN has a current yield of approximately 5.29%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 4 against the original $13.60/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 38.90%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“Twenty years in this business convinces me that any normal person using the customary three percent of the brain can pick stocks just as well, if not better, than the average Wall Street expert.” — Peter Lynch