“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.”
— 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 two-decade holding period possibly?
Suppose a “buy-and-hold” investor was considering an investment into Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc (NYSE: MAA) back in 2003: back then, such an investor may have been pondering this very same question. Had they answered “yes” to a full two-decade investment time horizon and then actually held for these past 20 years, here’s how that investment would have turned out.
|Average annual return:||13.54%|
As we can see, the two-decade investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 13.54%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $126,935.23 today (as of 07/06/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 1,168.56% (something to think about: how might MAA 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 Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc, investors have received $61.84/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 5.6/share, we calculate that MAA has a current yield of approximately 3.64%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 5.6 against the original $28.80/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 12.64%.
One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“The individual investor should act consistently as an investor and not as a speculator. This means that he should be able to justify every purchase he makes and each price he pays by impersonal, objective reasoning that satisfies him that he is getting more than his money’s worth for his purchase.” — Benjamin Graham