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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 ten year holding period. Suppose such a “buy-and-hold” investor had looked into buying shares of Dollar Tree Inc (NASD: DLTR) 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: 10/21/2011


End date: 10/20/2021
Start price/share: $40.03
End price/share: $101.34
Starting shares: 249.81
Ending shares: 249.81
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 153.16%
Average annual return: 9.73%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $25,320.64

As we can see, the ten year investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 9.73%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $25,320.64 today (as of 10/20/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 153.16% (something to think about: how might DLTR shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“There’s a virtuous cycle when people have to defend challenges to their ideas. Any gaps in thinking or analysis become clear pretty quickly when smart people ask good, logical questions.” — Joel Greenblatt