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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

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 five year holding period. Suppose such a “buy-and-hold” investor had looked into buying shares of Fiserv Inc (NASD: FISV) back in 2015. Let’s take a look at how such an investment would have worked out for that buy-and-hold investor:

Start date: 09/11/2015


End date: 09/10/2020
Start price/share: $43.04
End price/share: $95.00
Starting shares: 232.34
Ending shares: 232.34
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 120.72%
Average annual return: 17.15%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $22,074.95

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 17.15%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $22,074.95 today (as of 09/10/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 120.72% (something to think about: how might FISV shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“Your success in investing will depend in part on your character and guts and in part on your ability to realize, at the height of ebullience and the depth of despair alike, that this too, shall pass.” — Jack Bogle