Photo credit:

“I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five 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 five year holding period possibly?

Suppose a “buy-and-hold” investor was considering an investment into Align Technology Inc (NASD: ALGN) back in 2015: back then, such an investor may have been pondering this very same question. Had they answered “yes” to a full five year investment time horizon and then actually held for these past 5 years, here’s how that investment would have turned out.

Start date: 01/20/2015


End date: 01/16/2020
Start price/share: $56.24
End price/share: $285.03
Starting shares: 177.81
Ending shares: 177.81
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 406.81%
Average annual return: 38.42%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $50,679.66

As we can see, the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 38.42%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $50,679.66 today (as of 01/16/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 406.81% (something to think about: how might ALGN 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:
“If you can follow only one bit of data, follow the earnings.” — Peter Lynch