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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 Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a decade-long holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into CVS Health Corporation (NYSE: CVS)? Today, we examine the outcome of a decade-long investment into the stock back in 2013.

Start date: 09/09/2013


End date: 09/06/2023
Start price/share: $58.77
End price/share: $65.51
Starting shares: 170.15
Ending shares: 216.14
Dividends reinvested/share: $18.44
Total return: 41.59%
Average annual return: 3.54%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $14,159.25

The above analysis shows the decade-long investment result worked out as follows, with an annualized rate of return of 3.54%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $14,159.25 today (as of 09/06/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 41.59% (something to think about: how might CVS shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that CVS Health Corporation paid investors a total of $18.44/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 2.42/share, we calculate that CVS has a current yield of approximately 3.69%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 2.42 against the original $58.77/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 6.28%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it.” — Albert Einstein