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“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 decade-long 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 AFLAC Inc (NYSE: AFL) back in 2014, holding through to today.

Start date: 06/27/2014


End date: 06/26/2024
Start price/share: $31.36
End price/share: $89.22
Starting shares: 318.88
Ending shares: 405.92
Dividends reinvested/share: $11.71
Total return: 262.16%
Average annual return: 13.73%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $36,229.02

As shown above, the decade-long investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 13.73%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $36,229.02 today (as of 06/26/2024). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 262.16% (something to think about: how might AFL shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Many investors out there refuse to own any stock that lacks a dividend; in the case of AFLAC Inc, investors have received $11.71/share in dividends these past 10 years examined in the exercise above. This means total return was driven not just by share price, but also by the dividends received (and what the investor did with those dividends). For this exercise, what we’ve done with the dividends is to assume they are reinvestted — i.e. used to purchase additional shares (the calculations use closing price on ex-date).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 2/share, we calculate that AFL has a current yield of approximately 2.24%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 2 against the original $31.36/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 7.14%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“As in roulette, same is true of the stock trader, who will find that the expense of trading weights the dice heavily against him.” — Benjamin Graham