“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”
— Warren Buffett
Investors can learn a lot from Warren Buffett, whose above quote teaches the importance of thinking about investment time horizon, and asking ourselves before buying any given stock: can we envision holding onto it for years — even a decadelong holding period possibly?
Suppose a “buyandhold” investor was considering an investment into DTE Energy Co (NYSE: DTE) back in 2013: back then, such an investor may have been pondering this very same question. Had they answered “yes” to a full decadelong investment time horizon and then actually held for these past 10 years, here’s how that investment would have turned out.
Start date:  04/01/2013 


End date:  03/29/2023  
Start price/share:  $58.20  
End price/share:  $107.94  
Starting shares:  171.82  
Ending shares:  240.44  
Dividends reinvested/share:  $29.80  
Total return:  159.53%  
Average annual return:  10.01%  
Starting investment:  $10,000.00  
Ending investment:  $25,954.23 
As shown above, the decadelong investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 10.01%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $25,954.23 today (as of 03/29/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 159.53% (something to think about: how might DTE shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]
Notice that DTE Energy Co paid investors a total of $29.80/share in dividends over the 10 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 exdate 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 3.53%. 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 $58.20/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 6.07%.
More investment wisdom to ponder:
“If you’re prepared to invest in a company, then you ought to be able to explain why in simple language that a fifth grader could understand, and quickly enough so the fifth grader won’t get bored.” — Peter Lynch