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“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 F5 Networks, Inc. (NASD: FFIV), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a twenty year holding period.

Start date: 10/15/2001


End date: 10/12/2021
Start price/share: $7.93
End price/share: $197.69
Starting shares: 1,261.03
Ending shares: 1,261.03
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 2,392.94%
Average annual return: 17.44%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $249,289.17

As we can see, the twenty year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 17.44%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $249,289.17 today (as of 10/12/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 2,392.94% (something to think about: how might FFIV 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:
“I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.” — Pablo Picasso