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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

This inspiring quote from Warren Buffett teaches us the importance of considering our investment time horizon when approaching any given investment: Could we envision ourselves holding the stock we are considering for many years? Even a five year holding period potentially?

For “buy-and-hold” investors taking a long-term view, what’s important isn’t the short-term stock market fluctuations that will inevitably occur, but what happens over the long haul. Looking back 5 years to 2019, investors considering an investment into shares of The Cigna Group (NYSE: CI) may have been pondering this very question and thinking about their potential investment result over a full five year time horizon. Here’s how that would have worked out.

Start date: 01/09/2019


End date: 01/08/2024
Start price/share: $190.35
End price/share: $313.63
Starting shares: 52.53
Ending shares: 55.38
Dividends reinvested/share: $13.48
Total return: 73.70%
Average annual return: 11.68%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $17,373.09

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 11.68%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $17,373.09 today (as of 01/08/2024). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 73.70% (something to think about: how might CI shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that The Cigna Group paid investors a total of $13.48/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 4.92/share, we calculate that CI has a current yield of approximately 1.57%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 4.92 against the original $190.35/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 0.82%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“Anyone who is not investing now is missing a tremendous opportunity.” — Carlos Slim