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“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

— Warren Buffett

The above quote from Warren Buffett is timeless, and brings into focus the choice about time horizon that any investor should think about before buying a stock they are considering. Behind every stock is an actual business; what will that business look like over a twenty year period?

Today, let’s look backwards in time to 2000, and take a look at what happened to investors who asked that very question about Waters Corp. (NYSE: WAT), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a twenty year holding period.

Start date: 12/15/2000


End date: 12/14/2020
Start price/share: $80.06
End price/share: $240.75
Starting shares: 124.90
Ending shares: 124.90
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 200.70%
Average annual return: 5.66%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $30,093.60

The above analysis shows the twenty year investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 5.66%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $30,093.60 today (as of 12/14/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 200.70% (something to think about: how might WAT shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“The idea that a bell rings to signal when to get into or out of the stock market is simply not credible. After nearly fifty years in this business, I don’t know anybody who has done it successfully and consistently.” — Jack Bogle