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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 Cerner Corp. (NASD: CERN) back in 2014. Let’s take a look at how such an investment would have worked out for that buy-and-hold investor:

Start date: 05/12/2014


End date: 05/09/2019
Start price/share: $51.65
End price/share: $68.59
Starting shares: 193.61
Ending shares: 193.61
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 32.80%
Average annual return: 5.84%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $13,277.43

The above analysis shows the five year investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 5.84%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $13,277.43 today (as of 05/09/2019). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 32.80% (something to think about: how might CERN shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“Never test the depth of a river with both feet.” — Warren Buffett