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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 2001, and take a look at what happened to investors who asked that very question about Biogen Inc (NASD: BIIB), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a twenty year holding period.

Start date: 03/26/2001


End date: 03/24/2021
Start price/share: $39.06
End price/share: $265.69
Starting shares: 256.00
Ending shares: 256.00
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 580.17%
Average annual return: 10.06%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $68,048.46

As we can see, the twenty year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 10.06%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $68,048.46 today (as of 03/24/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 580.17% (something to think about: how might BIIB shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Another great investment quote to think about:
“The older I get, the more I see a straight path where I want to go. If you’re going to hunt elephants, don’t get off the trail for a rabbit.” — T. Boone Pickens