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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

This inspiring quote from Warren Buffett teaches us the importance of considering our investment time horizon when approaching any given investment: Could we envision ourselves holding the stock we are considering for many years? Even a ten year holding period potentially?

For “buy-and-hold” investors taking a long-term view, what’s important isn’t the short-term stock market fluctuations that will inevitably occur, but what happens over the long haul. Looking back 10 years to 2011, investors considering an investment into shares of F5 Networks, Inc. (NASD: FFIV) may have been pondering this very question and thinking about their potential investment result over a full ten year time horizon. Here’s how that would have worked out.

Start date: 03/21/2011


End date: 03/18/2021
Start price/share: $95.60
End price/share: $200.29
Starting shares: 104.60
Ending shares: 104.60
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 109.51%
Average annual return: 7.68%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $20,958.03

As shown above, the ten year investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 7.68%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $20,958.03 today (as of 03/18/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 109.51% (something to think about: how might FFIV shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“All you need for a lifetime of successful investing is a few big winners, and the pluses from those will overwhelm the minuses from the stocks that don’t work out.” — Peter Lynch