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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 above quote from Warren Buffett is timeless, and brings into focus the choice about time horizon that any investor should think about before buying a stock they are considering. Behind every stock is an actual business; what will that business look like over a ten year period?

Today, let’s look backwards in time to 2013, and take a look at what happened to investors who asked that very question about Tractor Supply Co. (NASD: TSCO), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a ten year holding period.

Start date: 10/14/2013


End date: 10/11/2023
Start price/share: $65.71
End price/share: $204.31
Starting shares: 152.18
Ending shares: 173.76
Dividends reinvested/share: $16.38
Total return: 255.02%
Average annual return: 13.51%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $35,496.90

As shown above, the ten year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 13.51%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $35,496.90 today (as of 10/11/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 255.02% (something to think about: how might TSCO shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Tractor Supply Co. paid investors a total of $16.38/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 4.12/share, we calculate that TSCO has a current yield of approximately 2.02%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 4.12 against the original $65.71/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 3.07%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“The individual investor should act consistently as an investor and not as a speculator.” — Benjamin Graham