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“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

— Warren Buffett

One of the most important things investors can learn from Warren Buffett, is about how they approach their time horizon for an investment into a stock under consideration. Because immediately after buying shares of a given stock, investors will then be able to check on the day-to-day (and even minute-by-minute) market value. Some days the stock market will be up, other days down. These daily fluctuations can often distract from the long-term view. Today, we look at the result of a two-decade holding period for an investor who was considering Align Technology Inc (NASD: ALGN) back in 2002, bought the stock, ignored the market’s ups and downs, and simply held through to today.

Start date: 08/19/2002


End date: 08/16/2022
Start price/share: $2.38
End price/share: $289.04
Starting shares: 4,201.68
Ending shares: 4,201.68
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 12,044.54%
Average annual return: 27.11%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $1,213,850.56

As shown above, the two-decade investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 27.11%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $1,213,850.56 today (as of 08/16/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 12,044.54% (something to think about: how might ALGN 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:
“A 10% decline in the market is fairly common, it happens about once a year. Investors who realize this are less likely to sell in a panic, and more likely to remain invested, benefitting from the wealthbuilding power of stocks.” — Christopher Davis