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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 Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS)? Today, we examine the outcome of a five year investment into the stock back in 2018.

Start date: 12/14/2018


End date: 12/13/2023
Start price/share: $61.82
End price/share: $105.81
Starting shares: 161.76
Ending shares: 182.08
Dividends reinvested/share: $10.32
Total return: 92.66%
Average annual return: 14.01%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $19,262.59

The above analysis shows the five year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 14.01%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $19,262.59 today (as of 12/13/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 92.66% (something to think about: how might DFS shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Always an important consideration with a dividend-paying company is: should we reinvest our dividends?Over the past 5 years, Discover Financial Services has paid $10.32/share in dividends. For the above analysis, we assume that the investor reinvests dividends into new shares of stock (for the above calculations, the reinvestment is performed using closing price on ex-div date for that dividend).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 2.8/share, we calculate that DFS has a current yield of approximately 2.65%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 2.8 against the original $61.82/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 4.29%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“Far more money has been lost by investors trying to anticipate corrections, than lost in the corrections themselves.” — Peter Lynch