“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 “buyandhold” investor was considering an investment into Kroger Co (NYSE: KR) 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:  12/27/2017 


End date:  12/23/2022  
Start price/share:  $27.71  
End price/share:  $45.89  
Starting shares:  360.88  
Ending shares:  400.02  
Dividends reinvested/share:  $3.53  
Total return:  83.57%  
Average annual return:  12.94%  
Starting investment:  $10,000.00  
Ending investment:  $18,357.12 
As we can see, the five year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 12.94%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $18,357.12 today (as of 12/23/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 83.57% (something to think about: how might KR shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]
Notice that Kroger Co paid investors a total of $3.53/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 exdate is used for the reinvestment of a given dividend).
Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 1.04/share, we calculate that KR has a current yield of approximately 2.27%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.04 against the original $27.71/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 8.19%.
Another great investment quote to think about:
“It’s not whether you’re right or wrong that’s important, but how much money you make when you’re right and how much you lose when you’re wrong.” — George Soros