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“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.”

— Warren Buffett

The investment philosophy practiced by Warren Buffett calls for investors to take a long-term horizon when making an investment, such as a two-decade holding period (or even longer), and reconsider making the investment in the first place if unable to envision holding the stock for at least five years. Today, we look at how such a long-term strategy would have done for investors in AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE: AZO) back in 2002, holding through to today.

Start date: 09/12/2002


End date: 09/09/2022
Start price/share: $73.08
End price/share: $2,199.08
Starting shares: 136.84
Ending shares: 136.84
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 2,909.14%
Average annual return: 18.55%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $300,909.64

As we can see, the two-decade investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 18.55%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $300,909.64 today (as of 09/09/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 2,909.14% (something to think about: how might AZO shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“If you are not willing to own a stock for 10 years, do not even think about owning it for 10 minutes.” — Warren Buffett