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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 2010: 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: 03/11/2010


End date: 03/10/2020
Start price/share: $10.17
End price/share: $364.13
Starting shares: 983.28
Ending shares: 983.28
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 3,480.43%
Average annual return: 43.00%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $357,919.99

As we can see, the decade-long investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 43.00%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $357,919.99 today (as of 03/10/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 3,480.43% (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.]

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“In the end, how your investments behave is much less important than how you behave.” — Benjamin Graham