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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 Intuitive Surgical Inc (NASD: ISRG) 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: 07/07/2010


End date: 07/06/2020
Start price/share: $107.41
End price/share: $584.64
Starting shares: 93.10
Ending shares: 93.10
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 444.31%
Average annual return: 18.45%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $54,419.38

As shown above, the decade-long investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 18.45%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $54,419.38 today (as of 07/06/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 444.31% (something to think about: how might ISRG shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Another great investment quote to think about:
“Far more money has been lost by investors trying to anticipate corrections, than lost in the corrections themselves.” — Peter Lynch