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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 DTE Energy Co (NYSE: DTE)? Today, we examine the outcome of a twenty year investment into the stock back in 2003.

Start date: 02/03/2003


End date: 02/02/2023
Start price/share: $36.17
End price/share: $114.71
Starting shares: 276.47
Ending shares: 632.53
Dividends reinvested/share: $47.70
Total return: 625.58%
Average annual return: 10.41%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $72,550.35

As shown above, the twenty year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 10.41%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $72,550.35 today (as of 02/02/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 625.58% (something to think about: how might DTE shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that DTE Energy Co paid investors a total of $47.70/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 3.81/share, we calculate that DTE has a current yield of approximately 3.32%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 3.81 against the original $36.17/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 9.18%.

Another great investment quote to think about:
“Wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing.” — Warren Buffett