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“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.”

— 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 twenty year holding period. Suppose such a “buy-and-hold” investor had looked into buying shares of Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE: BSX) 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: 07/20/2000


End date: 07/17/2020
Start price/share: $8.84
End price/share: $37.71
Starting shares: 1,131.22
Ending shares: 1,131.22
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 326.58%
Average annual return: 7.52%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $42,653.79

As shown above, the twenty year investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 7.52%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $42,653.79 today (as of 07/17/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 326.58% (something to think about: how might BSX shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“A 10% decline in the market is fairly common, it happens about once a year. Investors who realize this are less likely to sell in a panic, and more likely to remain invested, benefitting from the wealthbuilding power of stocks.” — Christopher Davis