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“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

— 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 twenty 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 20 years to 2001, investors considering an investment into shares of O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. (NASD: ORLY) may have been pondering this very question and thinking about their potential investment result over a full twenty year time horizon. Here’s how that would have worked out.

Start date: 09/04/2001


End date: 08/31/2021
Start price/share: $15.88
End price/share: $594.08
Starting shares: 629.72
Ending shares: 629.72
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 3,641.06%
Average annual return: 19.85%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $374,090.10

The above analysis shows the twenty year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 19.85%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $374,090.10 today (as of 08/31/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 3,641.06% (something to think about: how might ORLY shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Another great investment quote to think about:
“The stock market is filled with individuals who know the price of everything, but the value of nothing.” — Phillip Fisher