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“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

— Warren Buffett

Such a great quote from Warren Buffett, highlighting the importance of investment time horizon when considering making an investment. In the short run, who knows what the stock market will do? A week or two after buying any given stock, could the entire stock market fall out of bed? Quite possibly! Should that happen, how would you react? It is an excellent question to think about before hitting the buy button.

For investors who take a multi-year time horizon, the important thing is not what happens in the next week or two, but what the result will be over the long haul. Today, we look at the result investors of the year 2003 experienced, who considered an investment in shares of Akamai Technologies Inc (NASD: AKAM) and decided upon a two-decade investment time horizon.

Start date: 09/02/2003


End date: 08/30/2023
Start price/share: $4.47
End price/share: $104.64
Starting shares: 2,237.14
Ending shares: 2,237.14
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 2,240.94%
Average annual return: 17.07%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $234,038.56

As shown above, the two-decade investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 17.07%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $234,038.56 today (as of 08/30/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 2,240.94% (something to think about: how might AKAM shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“If you are not willing to own a stock for 10 years, do not even think about owning it for 10 minutes.” — Warren Buffett