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“I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five 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 five year holding period. Suppose such a “buy-and-hold” investor had looked into buying shares of Trimble Inc (NASD: TRMB) back in 2016. Let’s take a look at how such an investment would have worked out for that buy-and-hold investor:

Start date: 09/19/2016


End date: 09/16/2021
Start price/share: $26.68
End price/share: $91.95
Starting shares: 374.81
Ending shares: 374.81
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 244.64%
Average annual return: 28.11%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $34,460.82

The above analysis shows the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 28.11%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $34,460.82 today (as of 09/16/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 244.64% (something to think about: how might TRMB shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“You get recessions, you have stock market declines. If you don’t understand that’s going to happen, then you’re not ready, you won’t do well in the markets.” — Peter Lynch