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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

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 five year holding period. Suppose such a “buy-and-hold” investor had looked into buying shares of United Rentals Inc (NYSE: URI) back in 2017. Let’s take a look at how such an investment would have worked out for that buy-and-hold investor:

Start date: 07/26/2017


End date: 07/25/2022
Start price/share: $120.17
End price/share: $277.83
Starting shares: 83.22
Ending shares: 83.22
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 131.20%
Average annual return: 18.25%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $23,120.95

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 18.25%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $23,120.95 today (as of 07/25/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 131.20% (something to think about: how might URI 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:
“In investing, what is comfortable is rarely profitable.” — Robert Arnott