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“I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.”

— 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 five year holding period, will the investment succeed?

Back in 2015, investors may have been asking themselves that very question about Netflix Inc (NASD: NFLX). Let’s examine what would have happened over a five year holding period, had you invested in NFLX shares back in 2015 and held on.

Start date: 05/18/2015


End date: 05/15/2020
Start price/share: $88.27
End price/share: $454.19
Starting shares: 113.29
Ending shares: 113.29
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 414.55%
Average annual return: 38.79%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $51,451.83

The above analysis shows the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 38.79%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $51,451.83 today (as of 05/15/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 414.55% (something to think about: how might NFLX shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“I believe in the discipline of mastering the best that other people have ever figured out. I don’t believe in just sitting down and trying to dream it all up yourself. Nobody’s that smart.” — Charlie Munger