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“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”

— 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 ten year period?

Today, let’s look backwards in time to 2013, and take a look at what happened to investors who asked that very question about Prudential Financial Inc (NYSE: PRU), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a ten year holding period.

Start date: 03/14/2013


End date: 03/13/2023
Start price/share: $60.18
End price/share: $82.18
Starting shares: 166.17
Ending shares: 243.01
Dividends reinvested/share: $34.39
Total return: 99.71%
Average annual return: 7.16%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $19,971.44

As shown above, the ten year investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 7.16%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $19,971.44 today (as of 03/13/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 99.71% (something to think about: how might PRU shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Prudential Financial Inc paid investors a total of $34.39/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 ex-date is used for the reinvestment of a given dividend).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 5/share, we calculate that PRU has a current yield of approximately 6.08%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 5 against the original $60.18/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 10.10%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“Buy not on optimism, but on arithmetic.” — Benjamin Graham