“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 2003, and take a look at what happened to investors who asked that very question about Progressive Corp. (NYSE: PGR), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a twenty year holding period.
|Average annual return:||16.00%|
As we can see, the twenty year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 16.00%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $194,765.93 today (as of 02/10/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 1,847.65% (something to think about: how might PGR shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]
Many investors out there refuse to own any stock that lacks a dividend; in the case of Progressive Corp., investors have received $21.77/share in dividends these past 20 years examined in the exercise above. This means total return was driven not just by share price, but also by the dividends received (and what the investor did with those dividends). For this exercise, what we’ve done with the dividends is to assume they are reinvestted — i.e. used to purchase additional shares (the calculations use closing price on ex-date).
Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of .4/share, we calculate that PGR has a current yield of approximately 0.29%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .4 against the original $11.99/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 2.42%.
One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“A stock is not just a ticker symbol or an electronic blip; it is an ownership interest in an actual business, with an underlying value that does not depend on its share price.” — Benjamin Graham