Photo credit:

“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 Illumina Inc (NASD: ILMN) back in 2002, bought the stock, ignored the market’s ups and downs, and simply held through to today.

Start date: 12/06/2002


End date: 12/05/2022
Start price/share: $2.30
End price/share: $213.86
Starting shares: 4,347.83
Ending shares: 4,347.83
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 9,198.26%
Average annual return: 25.42%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $929,852.20

The above analysis shows the two-decade investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 25.42%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $929,852.20 today (as of 12/05/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 9,198.26% (something to think about: how might ILMN 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:
“The underlying principles of sound investment should not alter from decade to decade, but the application of these principles must be adapted to significant changes in the financial mechanisms and climate.” — Benjamin Graham