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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 O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. (NASD: ORLY) 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: 10/19/2015


End date: 10/16/2020
Start price/share: $252.22
End price/share: $467.01
Starting shares: 39.65
Ending shares: 39.65
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 85.16%
Average annual return: 13.12%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $18,516.13

The above analysis shows the five year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 13.12%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $18,516.13 today (as of 10/16/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 85.16% (something to think about: how might ORLY shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.” — Charlie Munger