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“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”

— 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 decade-long 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 10 years to 2013, investors considering an investment into shares of AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE: AZO) may have been pondering this very question and thinking about their potential investment result over a full decade-long time horizon. Here’s how that would have worked out.

Start date: 08/19/2013


End date: 08/16/2023
Start price/share: $420.40
End price/share: $2,489.52
Starting shares: 23.79
Ending shares: 23.79
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 492.18%
Average annual return: 19.47%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $59,207.53

As shown above, the decade-long investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 19.47%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $59,207.53 today (as of 08/16/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 492.18% (something to think about: how might AZO shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“Investors should always keep in mind that the most important metric is not the returns achieved but the returns weighed against the risks incurred. Ultimately, nothing should be more important to investors than the ability to sleep soundly at night.” — Seth Klarman