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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 Dollar Tree Inc (NASD: DLTR) back in 2000. Let’s take a look at how such an investment would have worked out for that buy-and-hold investor:

Start date: 04/06/2000


End date: 04/03/2020
Start price/share: $11.85
End price/share: $70.24
Starting shares: 843.88
Ending shares: 843.88
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 492.74%
Average annual return: 9.30%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $59,239.97

As shown above, the two-decade investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 9.30%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $59,239.97 today (as of 04/03/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 492.74% (something to think about: how might DLTR shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“Opportunities come infrequently. When it rains gold, put out the bucket, not the thimble.” — Warren Buffett