“I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.”
— Warren Buffett
The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a longterm investment horizon, where a five year holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE: XOM)? Today, we examine the outcome of a five year investment into the stock back in 2018.
Start date:  10/30/2018 


End date:  10/27/2023  
Start price/share:  $78.78  
End price/share:  $105.55  
Starting shares:  126.94  
Ending shares:  164.18  
Dividends reinvested/share:  $17.50  
Total return:  73.29%  
Average annual return:  11.64%  
Starting investment:  $10,000.00  
Ending investment:  $17,331.54 
As shown above, the five year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 11.64%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $17,331.54 today (as of 10/27/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 73.29% (something to think about: how might XOM shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]
Notice that Exxon Mobil Corp paid investors a total of $17.50/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 exdate is used for the reinvestment of a given dividend).
Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 3.8/share, we calculate that XOM has a current yield of approximately 3.60%. 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 $78.78/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 4.57%.
Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“If you’re prepared to invest in a company, then you ought to be able to explain why in simple language that a fifth grader could understand, and quickly enough so the fifth grader won’t get bored.” — Peter Lynch