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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

Investors can learn a lot from Warren Buffett, whose above quote teaches the importance of thinking about investment time horizon, and asking ourselves before buying any given stock: can we envision holding onto it for years — even a decade-long holding period possibly?

Suppose a “buy-and-hold” investor was considering an investment into Netflix Inc (NASD: NFLX) back in 2009: back then, such an investor may have been pondering this very same question. Had they answered “yes” to a full decade-long investment time horizon and then actually held for these past 10 years, here’s how that investment would have turned out.

Start date: 09/28/2009


End date: 09/25/2019
Start price/share: $6.57
End price/share: $264.75
Starting shares: 1,522.07
Ending shares: 1,522.07
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 3,929.68%
Average annual return: 44.73%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $402,852.20

As shown above, the decade-long investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 44.73%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $402,852.20 today (as of 09/25/2019). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 3,929.68% (something to think about: how might NFLX shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“Cash is a fact, profit is an opinion.” — Alfred Rappaport