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“I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five 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 five year holding period possibly?

Suppose a “buy-and-hold” investor was considering an investment into Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) back in 2018: back then, such an investor may have been pondering this very same question. Had they answered “yes” to a full five year investment time horizon and then actually held for these past 5 years, here’s how that investment would have turned out.

Start date: 07/06/2018


End date: 07/05/2023
Start price/share: $139.98
End price/share: $404.66
Starting shares: 71.44
Ending shares: 76.95
Dividends reinvested/share: $18.44
Total return: 211.38%
Average annual return: 25.50%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $31,132.83

As we can see, the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 25.50%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $31,132.83 today (as of 07/05/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 211.38% (something to think about: how might DE shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Deere & Co. paid investors a total of $18.44/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 5/share, we calculate that DE has a current yield of approximately 1.24%. 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 $139.98/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 0.89%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“Searching for companies is like looking for grubs under rocks: if you turn over 10 rocks you’ll likely find one grub; if you turn over 20 rocks you’ll find two.” — Peter Lynch