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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

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 Autodesk Inc (NASD: ADSK) 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: 05/21/2015


End date: 05/20/2020
Start price/share: $57.51
End price/share: $196.64
Starting shares: 173.88
Ending shares: 173.88
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 241.92%
Average annual return: 27.86%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $34,195.26

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 27.86%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $34,195.26 today (as of 05/20/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 241.92% (something to think about: how might ADSK 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:
“Thousands of experts study overbought indicators, head-and-shoulder patterns, put-call ratios, the Fed’s policy on money supply…and they can’t predict markets with any useful consistency, any more than the gizzard squeezers could tell the Roman emperors when the Huns would attack.” — Peter Lynch