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“I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five 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 five year holding period possibly?

Suppose a “buy-and-hold” investor was considering an investment into Align Technology Inc (NASD: ALGN) back in 2016: back then, such an investor may have been pondering this very same question. Had they answered “yes” to a full five year investment time horizon and then actually held for these past 5 years, here’s how that investment would have turned out.

Start date: 12/15/2016


End date: 12/14/2021
Start price/share: $100.27
End price/share: $605.73
Starting shares: 99.73
Ending shares: 99.73
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 504.10%
Average annual return: 43.29%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $60,405.91

The above analysis shows the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 43.29%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $60,405.91 today (as of 12/14/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 504.10% (something to think about: how might ALGN shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you’re generally better off sticking with what you know. And the third is that sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make.” — Donald Trump