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

— Warren Buffett

This inspiring quote from Warren Buffett teaches us the importance of considering our investment time horizon when approaching any given investment: Could we envision ourselves holding the stock we are considering for many years? Even a twenty year holding period potentially?

For “buy-and-hold” investors taking a long-term view, what’s important isn’t the short-term stock market fluctuations that will inevitably occur, but what happens over the long haul. Looking back 20 years to 2002, investors considering an investment into shares of Biogen Inc (NASD: BIIB) may have been pondering this very question and thinking about their potential investment result over a full twenty year time horizon. Here’s how that would have worked out.

Start date: 11/29/2002


End date: 11/28/2022
Start price/share: $32.81
End price/share: $291.90
Starting shares: 304.79
Ending shares: 304.79
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 789.67%
Average annual return: 11.54%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $88,947.26

The above analysis shows the twenty year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 11.54%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $88,947.26 today (as of 11/28/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 789.67% (something to think about: how might BIIB 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:
“It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.” — Charlie Munger