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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 Ulta Beauty Inc (NASD: ULTA) back in 2016. Let’s take a look at how such an investment would have worked out for that buy-and-hold investor:

Start date: 02/17/2016


End date: 02/16/2021
Start price/share: $158.92
End price/share: $327.77
Starting shares: 62.92
Ending shares: 62.92
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 106.25%
Average annual return: 15.57%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $20,625.18

As we can see, the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 15.57%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $20,625.18 today (as of 02/16/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 106.25% (something to think about: how might ULTA shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“I think you have to learn that there’s a company behind every stock, and that there’s only one real reason why stocks go up. Companies go from doing poorly to doing well or small companies grow to large companies.” — Peter Lynch