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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

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 decade-long holding period for an investor who was considering Alliant Energy Corp (NASD: LNT) back in 2013, bought the stock, ignored the market’s ups and downs, and simply held through to today.

Start date: 10/17/2013


End date: 10/16/2023
Start price/share: $25.54
End price/share: $50.25
Starting shares: 391.54
Ending shares: 537.77
Dividends reinvested/share: $13.76
Total return: 170.23%
Average annual return: 10.45%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $27,025.61

The above analysis shows the decade-long investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 10.45%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $27,025.61 today (as of 10/16/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 170.23% (something to think about: how might LNT shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Alliant Energy Corp paid investors a total of $13.76/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 1.81/share, we calculate that LNT 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 1.81 against the original $25.54/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 14.10%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“Confronted with a challenge to distill the secret of sound investment into three words, we venture the motto, Margin of Safety.” — Benjamin Graham