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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 two-decade 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 Akamai Technologies Inc (NASD: AKAM), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a two-decade holding period.

Start date: 12/28/2001


End date: 12/27/2021
Start price/share: $6.00
End price/share: $117.92
Starting shares: 1,666.67
Ending shares: 1,666.67
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 1,865.33%
Average annual return: 16.05%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $196,612.60

The above analysis shows the two-decade investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 16.05%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $196,612.60 today (as of 12/27/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 1,865.33% (something to think about: how might AKAM shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“We don’t have to be smarter than the rest. We have to be more disciplined than the rest.” — Warren Buffett