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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 Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE: VZ)? Today, we examine the outcome of a five year investment into the stock back in 2017.

Start date: 12/13/2017


End date: 12/12/2022
Start price/share: $52.89
End price/share: $37.95
Starting shares: 189.07
Ending shares: 237.73
Dividends reinvested/share: $12.37
Total return: -9.78%
Average annual return: -2.04%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $9,020.78

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out poorly, with an annualized rate of return of -2.04%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $9,020.78 today (as of 12/12/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of -9.78% (something to think about: how might VZ shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Verizon Communications Inc paid investors a total of $12.37/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 2.61/share, we calculate that VZ has a current yield of approximately 6.88%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 2.61 against the original $52.89/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 13.01%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep.” — Robert Kiyosaki