Photo credit:

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

— Warren Buffett

The above quote from Warren Buffett is timeless, and brings into focus the choice about time horizon that any investor should think about before buying a stock they are considering. Behind every stock is an actual business; what will that business look like over a twenty year period?

Today, let’s look backwards in time to 2002, and take a look at what happened to investors who asked that very question about Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a twenty year holding period.

Start date: 12/19/2002


End date: 12/16/2022
Start price/share: $28.56
End price/share: $51.40
Starting shares: 350.14
Ending shares: 740.56
Dividends reinvested/share: $20.77
Total return: 280.65%
Average annual return: 6.91%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $38,064.98

As shown above, the twenty year investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 6.91%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $38,064.98 today (as of 12/16/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 280.65% (something to think about: how might PFE shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Pfizer Inc paid investors a total of $20.77/share in dividends over the 20 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 1.64/share, we calculate that PFE has a current yield of approximately 3.19%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.64 against the original $28.56/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 11.17%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case.” — Robert Allen