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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

Investors can learn a lot from Warren Buffett, whose above quote teaches the importance of thinking about investment time horizon, and asking ourselves before buying any given stock: can we envision holding onto it for years — even a five year holding period possibly?

Suppose a “buy-and-hold” investor was considering an investment into CME Group (NASD: CME) back in 2017: back then, such an investor may have been pondering this very same question. Had they answered “yes” to a full five year investment time horizon and then actually held for these past 5 years, here’s how that investment would have turned out.

Start date: 12/15/2017


End date: 12/14/2022
Start price/share: $151.07
End price/share: $174.92
Starting shares: 66.19
Ending shares: 77.67
Dividends reinvested/share: $30.30
Total return: 35.86%
Average annual return: 6.32%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $13,585.48

The above analysis shows the five year investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 6.32%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $13,585.48 today (as of 12/14/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 35.86% (something to think about: how might CME shares perform over the next 5 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 CME Group, investors have received $30.30/share in dividends these past 5 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 CME has a current yield of approximately 2.29%. 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 $151.07/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 1.52%.

Another great investment quote to think about:
“In the end, how your investments behave is much less important than how you behave.” — Benjamin Graham