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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

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 ten year holding period. Suppose such a “buy-and-hold” investor had looked into buying shares of ABIOMED, Inc. (NASD: ABMD) back in 2011. Let’s take a look at how such an investment would have worked out for that buy-and-hold investor:

Start date: 02/10/2011


End date: 02/09/2021
Start price/share: $13.46
End price/share: $324.48
Starting shares: 742.94
Ending shares: 742.94
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 2,310.70%
Average annual return: 37.45%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $241,103.99

The above analysis shows the ten year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 37.45%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $241,103.99 today (as of 02/09/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 2,310.70% (something to think about: how might ABMD shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Another great investment quote to think about:
“I learned early that there is nothing new in Wall Street. There can’t be because speculation is as old as the hills. Whatever happens in the stock market today has happened before and will happen again. I’ve never forgotten that.” — Jesse Livermore