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

— Warren Buffett

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a twenty year holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Apple Inc (NASD: AAPL)? Today, we examine the outcome of a twenty year investment into the stock back in 2002.

Start date: 12/02/2002


End date: 11/30/2022
Start price/share: $0.27
End price/share: $148.03
Starting shares: 37,037.04
Ending shares: 43,454.29
Dividends reinvested/share: $6.80
Total return: 64,225.39%
Average annual return: 38.15%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $6,429,413.44

The above analysis shows the twenty year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 38.15%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $6,429,413.44 today (as of 11/30/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 64,225.39% (something to think about: how might AAPL shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Dividends are always an important investment factor to consider, and Apple Inc has paid $6.80/share in dividends to shareholders over the past 20 years we looked at above. Many an investor will only invest in stocks that pay dividends, so this component of total return is always an important consideration. Automated reinvestment of dividends into additional shares of stock can be a great way for an investor to compound their returns. The above calculations are done with the assuption that dividends received over time are reinvested (the calcuations use the closing price on ex-date).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of .92/share, we calculate that AAPL has a current yield of approximately 0.62%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .92 against the original $0.27/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 229.63%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“Your success in investing will depend in part on your character and guts and in part on your ability to realize, at the height of ebullience and the depth of despair alike, that this too, shall pass.” — Jack Bogle