Photo credit:

“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 Hess Corp (NYSE: HES) 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: 02/06/2018


End date: 02/03/2023
Start price/share: $45.96
End price/share: $137.57
Starting shares: 217.58
Ending shares: 236.48
Dividends reinvested/share: $5.50
Total return: 225.32%
Average annual return: 26.64%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $32,530.63

As we can see, the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 26.64%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $32,530.63 today (as of 02/03/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 225.32% (something to think about: how might HES shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Hess Corp paid investors a total of $5.50/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 HES has a current yield of approximately 1.09%. 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 $45.96/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 2.37%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“You don’t need to be a rocket scientist. Investing is not a game where the guy with the 160 IQ beats the guy with 130 IQ.” — Warren Buffett