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

— Warren Buffett

Investors can learn a lot from Warren Buffett, whose above quote teaches the importance of thinking about investment time horizon, and asking ourselves before buying any given stock: can we envision holding onto it for years — even a twenty year holding period possibly?

Suppose a “buy-and-hold” investor was considering an investment into Fiserv Inc (NASD: FISV) back in 2003: back then, such an investor may have been pondering this very same question. Had they answered “yes” to a full twenty year investment time horizon and then actually held for these past 20 years, here’s how that investment would have turned out.

Start date: 05/27/2003


End date: 05/25/2023
Start price/share: $8.08
End price/share: $112.81
Starting shares: 1,237.62
Ending shares: 1,237.62
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 1,296.16%
Average annual return: 14.08%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $139,527.71

As shown above, the twenty year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 14.08%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $139,527.71 today (as of 05/25/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 1,296.16% (something to think about: how might FISV shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“Twenty years in this business convinces me that any normal person using the customary three percent of the brain can pick stocks just as well, if not better, than the average Wall Street expert.” — Peter Lynch