Photo credit:

“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”

— Warren Buffett

The investment philosophy practiced by Warren Buffett calls for investors to take a long-term horizon when making an investment, such as a ten year holding period (or even longer), and reconsider making the investment in the first place if unable to envision holding the stock for at least five years. Today, we look at how such a long-term strategy would have done for investors in Automatic Data Processing Inc. (NASD: ADP) back in 2014, holding through to today.

Start date: 01/03/2014


End date: 01/02/2024
Start price/share: $70.88
End price/share: $233.42
Starting shares: 141.08
Ending shares: 175.89
Dividends reinvested/share: $31.34
Total return: 310.56%
Average annual return: 15.17%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $41,073.50

The above analysis shows the ten year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 15.17%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $41,073.50 today (as of 01/02/2024). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 310.56% (something to think about: how might ADP shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Dividends are always an important investment factor to consider, and Automatic Data Processing Inc. has paid $31.34/share in dividends to shareholders over the past 10 years we looked at above. Many an investor will only invest in stocks that pay dividends, so this component of total return is always an important consideration. Automated reinvestment of dividends into additional shares of stock can be a great way for an investor to compound their returns. The above calculations are done with the assuption that dividends received over time are reinvested (the calcuations use the closing price on ex-date).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 5.6/share, we calculate that ADP has a current yield of approximately 2.40%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 5.6 against the original $70.88/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 3.39%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“The stock market is a device to transfer money from the impatient to the patient.” — Warren Buffett