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“I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.”

— Warren Buffett

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a five year holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into United Airlines Holdings Inc (NASD: UAL)? Today, we examine the outcome of a five year investment into the stock back in 2018.

Start date: 11/28/2018


End date: 11/27/2023
Start price/share: $94.48
End price/share: $39.21
Starting shares: 105.84
Ending shares: 105.84
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: -58.50%
Average annual return: -16.13%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $4,149.86

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out poorly, with an annualized rate of return of -16.13%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $4,149.86 today (as of 11/27/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of -58.50% (something to think about: how might UAL shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“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