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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 wisdom of Warren Buffett reflects a value-based philosophy about investing that says investors are buying shares in a business, and encourages strategic thinking about investment time horizon. Before placing a buy order for a stock, a great question we can ask is whether we would still be comfortable making the investment if we couldn’t sell it for many years?

A “buy-and-hold” approach may call for a time horizon that spans a long period of time — maybe even lasting for a five year holding period. Suppose such a “buy-and-hold” investor had looked into buying shares of Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) back in 2018. Let’s take a look at how such an investment would have worked out for that buy-and-hold investor:

Start date: 11/23/2018


End date: 11/21/2023
Start price/share: $16.61
End price/share: $17.12
Starting shares: 602.05
Ending shares: 820.98
Dividends reinvested/share: $5.29
Total return: 40.55%
Average annual return: 7.05%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $14,055.69

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 7.05%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $14,055.69 today (as of 11/21/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 40.55% (something to think about: how might KMI shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Kinder Morgan Inc. paid investors a total of $5.29/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 1.13/share, we calculate that KMI has a current yield of approximately 6.60%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.13 against the original $16.61/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 39.74%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute.” — William Feather