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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

This inspiring quote from Warren Buffett teaches us the importance of considering our investment time horizon when approaching any given investment: Could we envision ourselves holding the stock we are considering for many years? Even a ten year holding period potentially?

For “buy-and-hold” investors taking a long-term view, what’s important isn’t the short-term stock market fluctuations that will inevitably occur, but what happens over the long haul. Looking back 10 years to 2013, investors considering an investment into shares of Air Products & Chemicals Inc (NYSE: APD) may have been pondering this very question and thinking about their potential investment result over a full ten year time horizon. Here’s how that would have worked out.

Start date: 09/20/2013


End date: 09/19/2023
Start price/share: $100.43
End price/share: $299.23
Starting shares: 99.57
Ending shares: 125.63
Dividends reinvested/share: $43.99
Total return: 275.92%
Average annual return: 14.15%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $37,576.53

As shown above, the ten year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 14.15%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $37,576.53 today (as of 09/19/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 275.92% (something to think about: how might APD shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Air Products & Chemicals Inc paid investors a total of $43.99/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 7/share, we calculate that APD has a current yield of approximately 2.34%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 7 against the original $100.43/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 2.33%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“The stock market is a device to transfer money from the impatient to the patient.” — Warren Buffett