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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

One of the most important things investors can learn from Warren Buffett, is about how they approach their time horizon for an investment into a stock under consideration. Because immediately after buying shares of a given stock, investors will then be able to check on the day-to-day (and even minute-by-minute) market value. Some days the stock market will be up, other days down. These daily fluctuations can often distract from the long-term view. Today, we look at the result of a five year holding period for an investor who was considering Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE: HRL) back in 2017, bought the stock, ignored the market’s ups and downs, and simply held through to today.

Start date: 12/12/2017


End date: 12/09/2022
Start price/share: $36.99
End price/share: $47.02
Starting shares: 270.34
Ending shares: 299.70
Dividends reinvested/share: $4.54
Total return: 40.92%
Average annual return: 7.11%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $14,092.45

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 7.11%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $14,092.45 today (as of 12/09/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 40.92% (something to think about: how might HRL shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Hormel Foods Corp. paid investors a total of $4.54/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 1.1/share, we calculate that HRL has a current yield of approximately 2.34%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.1 against the original $36.99/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 6.33%.

Another great investment quote to think about:
“I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.” — Pablo Picasso