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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 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 decade-long period?

Today, let’s look backwards in time to 2011, and take a look at what happened to investors who asked that very question about United Airlines Holdings Inc (NASD: UAL), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a decade-long holding period.

Start date: 07/20/2011


End date: 07/19/2021
Start price/share: $20.28
End price/share: $43.46
Starting shares: 493.10
Ending shares: 493.10
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 114.30%
Average annual return: 7.92%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $21,438.81

As we can see, the decade-long investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 7.92%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $21,438.81 today (as of 07/19/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 114.30% (something to think about: how might UAL shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“Be fearful when others are greedy; be greedy when others are fearful.” — Warren Buffett