Photo credit:

“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 Inc (NASD: AMZN), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a twenty year holding period.

Start date: 06/18/2001


End date: 06/16/2021
Start price/share: $11.83
End price/share: $3,415.25
Starting shares: 845.31
Ending shares: 845.31
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 28,769.40%
Average annual return: 32.73%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $2,886,639.78

The above analysis shows the twenty year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 32.73%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $2,886,639.78 today (as of 06/16/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 28,769.40% (something to think about: how might AMZN shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“If you’re looking for a home run, a great investment for five years or 10 years or more, then the only way to beat this enormous fog that covers the future is to identify a long-term trend that will give a particular business some sort of edge.” — Ralph Wanger