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“I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.”

— Warren Buffett

Investors can learn a lot from Warren Buffett, whose above quote teaches the importance of thinking about investment time horizon, and asking ourselves before buying any given stock: can we envision holding onto it for years — even a five year holding period possibly?

Suppose a “buy-and-hold” investor was considering an investment into Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) back in 2018: back then, such an investor may have been pondering this very same question. Had they answered “yes” to a full five year investment time horizon and then actually held for these past 5 years, here’s how that investment would have turned out.

Start date: 11/27/2018


End date: 11/24/2023
Start price/share: $109.93
End price/share: $156.01
Starting shares: 90.97
Ending shares: 103.82
Dividends reinvested/share: $17.55
Total return: 61.97%
Average annual return: 10.14%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $16,199.27

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 10.14%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $16,199.27 today (as of 11/24/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 61.97% (something to think about: how might DRI shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Darden Restaurants, Inc. paid investors a total of $17.55/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 ex-date is used for the reinvestment of a given dividend).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 5.24/share, we calculate that DRI has a current yield of approximately 3.36%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 5.24 against the original $109.93/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 3.06%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“If investing is entertaining, if you’re having fun, you’re probably not making any money. Good investing is boring.” — George Soros