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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 decade-long holding period. Suppose such a “buy-and-hold” investor had looked into buying shares of Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE: BSX) 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: 04/12/2011


End date: 04/09/2021
Start price/share: $7.10
End price/share: $39.32
Starting shares: 1,408.45
Ending shares: 1,408.45
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 453.80%
Average annual return: 18.67%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $55,387.20

As shown above, the decade-long investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 18.67%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $55,387.20 today (as of 04/09/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 453.80% (something to think about: how might BSX shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“If you are not willing to own a stock for 10 years, do not even think about owning it for 10 minutes.” — Warren Buffett