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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

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term 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 American Airlines Group Inc (NASD: AAL)? Today, we examine the outcome of a five year investment into the stock back in 2018.

Start date: 11/15/2018


End date: 11/14/2023
Start price/share: $37.82
End price/share: $12.25
Starting shares: 264.41
Ending shares: 268.64
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.50
Total return: -67.09%
Average annual return: -19.93%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $3,291.16

The above analysis shows the five year investment result worked out poorly, with an annualized rate of return of -19.93%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $3,291.16 today (as of 11/14/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of -67.09% (something to think about: how might AAL shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that American Airlines Group Inc paid investors a total of $0.50/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 ex-date is used for the reinvestment of a given dividend).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of .4/share, we calculate that AAL has a current yield of approximately 3.27%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .4 against the original $37.82/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 8.65%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“If you are not willing to own a stock for 10 years, do not even think about owning it for 10 minutes.” — Warren Buffett