“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
— Warren Buffett
A critical pearl of wisdom from Warren Buffett teaches us that with any potential stock investment we may make, as soon as our buy order is filled we will have a choice: to remain a co-owner of that company for the long haul, or to react to the inevitable short-term ups and downs that the stock market is famous for (sometimes sharp ups and downs).
The reality of this choice forces us to challenge our confidence in any given company we might invest into, and keep our eyes on the long-term time horizon. The market may go up and down the interim, but over a two-decade holding period, will the investment succeed?
Back in 1999, investors may have been asking themselves that very question about Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (NYSE: LH). Let’s examine what would have happened over a two-decade holding period, had you invested in LH shares back in 1999 and held on.
|Average annual return:||17.26%|
As we can see, the two-decade investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 17.26%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $241,755.69 today (as of 07/05/2019). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 2,318.78% (something to think about: how might LH shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]
Another great investment quote to think about:
“The function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.” — John Galbraith