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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

This inspiring quote from Warren Buffett teaches us the importance of considering our investment time horizon when approaching any given investment: Could we envision ourselves holding the stock we are considering for many years? Even a five year holding period potentially?

For “buy-and-hold” investors taking a long-term view, what’s important isn’t the short-term stock market fluctuations that will inevitably occur, but what happens over the long haul. Looking back 5 years to 2018, investors considering an investment into shares of Lennar Corp (NYSE: LEN) may have been pondering this very question and thinking about their potential investment result over a full five year time horizon. Here’s how that would have worked out.

Start date: 01/30/2018


End date: 01/27/2023
Start price/share: $63.87
End price/share: $100.61
Starting shares: 156.57
Ending shares: 164.30
Dividends reinvested/share: $3.78
Total return: 65.31%
Average annual return: 10.59%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $16,532.55

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 10.59%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $16,532.55 today (as of 01/27/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 65.31% (something to think about: how might LEN shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Lennar Corp paid investors a total of $3.78/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 1.5/share, we calculate that LEN has a current yield of approximately 1.49%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.5 against the original $63.87/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 2.33%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” — Warren Buffett