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

— Warren Buffett

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a two-decade holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into O’Reilly Automotive, Inc. (NASD: ORLY)? Today, we examine the outcome of a two-decade investment into the stock back in 2003.

Start date: 02/03/2003


End date: 02/02/2023
Start price/share: $12.27
End price/share: $805.66
Starting shares: 815.00
Ending shares: 815.00
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 6,466.10%
Average annual return: 23.26%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $656,808.22

As shown above, the two-decade investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 23.26%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $656,808.22 today (as of 02/02/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 6,466.10% (something to think about: how might ORLY shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“If you’re looking for a home run, a great investment for five years or 10 years or more, then the only way to beat this enormous fog that covers the future is to identify a long-term trend that will give a particular business some sort of edge.” — Ralph Wanger