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“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

— 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 two-decade holding period. Suppose such a “buy-and-hold” investor had looked into buying shares of SBA Communications Corp (NASD: SBAC) back in 1999. Let’s take a look at how such an investment would have worked out for that buy-and-hold investor:

Start date: 06/17/1999


End date: 05/13/2019
Start price/share: $8.69
End price/share: $209.27
Starting shares: 1,151.08
Ending shares: 1,151.08
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 2,308.86%
Average annual return: 17.32%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $240,845.91

As shown above, the two-decade investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 17.32%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $240,845.91 today (as of 05/13/2019). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 2,308.86% (something to think about: how might SBAC shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“Be fearful when others are greedy; be greedy when others are fearful.” — Warren Buffett