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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 Akamai Technologies Inc (NASD: AKAM) back in 2011: 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: 01/18/2011


End date: 01/14/2021
Start price/share: $52.24
End price/share: $102.85
Starting shares: 191.42
Ending shares: 191.42
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 96.88%
Average annual return: 7.01%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $19,686.25

As we can see, the decade-long investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 7.01%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $19,686.25 today (as of 01/14/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 96.88% (something to think about: how might AKAM shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“The emotional burden of trading is substantial; on any given day, I could lose millions of dollars. If you personalize these losses, you can’t trade.” — Bruce Kovner