“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 ten year holding period possibly?
Suppose a “buy-and-hold” investor was considering an investment into Ecolab Inc (NYSE: ECL) back in 2013: back then, such an investor may have been pondering this very same question. Had they answered “yes” to a full ten year investment time horizon and then actually held for these past 10 years, here’s how that investment would have turned out.
|Average annual return:||8.61%|
As we can see, the ten year investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 8.61%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $22,845.28 today (as of 07/11/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 128.55% (something to think about: how might ECL shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]
Notice that Ecolab Inc paid investors a total of $16.44/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 2.12/share, we calculate that ECL has a current yield of approximately 1.15%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 2.12 against the original $90.29/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 1.27%.
More investment wisdom to ponder:
“While it might seem that anyone can be a value investor, the essential characteristics of this type of investor-patience, discipline, and risk aversion-may well be genetically determined.” — Seth Klarman