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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

Investors can learn a lot from Warren Buffett, whose above quote teaches the importance of thinking about investment time horizon, and asking ourselves before buying any given stock: can we envision holding onto it for years — even a decade-long holding period possibly?

Suppose a “buy-and-hold” investor was considering an investment into O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. (NASD: ORLY) back in 2011: back then, such an investor may have been pondering this very same question. Had they answered “yes” to a full decade-long investment time horizon and then actually held for these past 10 years, here’s how that investment would have turned out.

Start date: 11/17/2011


End date: 11/16/2021
Start price/share: $76.05
End price/share: $652.00
Starting shares: 131.49
Ending shares: 131.49
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 757.33%
Average annual return: 23.95%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $85,699.10

The above analysis shows the decade-long investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 23.95%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $85,699.10 today (as of 11/16/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 757.33% (something to think about: how might ORLY shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana