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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

One of the most important things investors can learn from Warren Buffett, is about how they approach their time horizon for an investment into a stock under consideration. Because immediately after buying shares of a given stock, investors will then be able to check on the day-to-day (and even minute-by-minute) market value. Some days the stock market will be up, other days down. These daily fluctuations can often distract from the long-term view. Today, we look at the result of a five year holding period for an investor who was considering Genuine Parts Co. (NYSE: GPC) back in 2018, bought the stock, ignored the market’s ups and downs, and simply held through to today.

Start date: 08/13/2018


End date: 08/10/2023
Start price/share: $96.58
End price/share: $156.17
Starting shares: 103.54
Ending shares: 119.26
Dividends reinvested/share: $16.39
Total return: 86.25%
Average annual return: 13.26%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $18,624.58

As we can see, the five year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 13.26%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $18,624.58 today (as of 08/10/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 86.25% (something to think about: how might GPC shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Genuine Parts Co. paid investors a total of $16.39/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 3.8/share, we calculate that GPC has a current yield of approximately 2.43%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 3.8 against the original $96.58/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 2.52%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“Know what you own and why you own it.” — Peter Lynch