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

— Warren Buffett

The above quote from Warren Buffett is timeless, and brings into focus the choice about time horizon that any investor should think about before buying a stock they are considering. Behind every stock is an actual business; what will that business look like over a twenty year period?

Today, let’s look backwards in time to 2003, and take a look at what happened to investors who asked that very question about Edwards Lifesciences Corp (NYSE: EW), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a twenty year holding period.

Start date: 12/22/2003


End date: 12/21/2023
Start price/share: $2.45
End price/share: $74.95
Starting shares: 4,081.63
Ending shares: 4,081.63
Dividends reinvested/share: $0.00
Total return: 2,959.18%
Average annual return: 18.64%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $305,799.13

As we can see, the twenty year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 18.64%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $305,799.13 today (as of 12/21/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 2,959.18% (something to think about: how might EW 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:
“It’s not whether you’re right or wrong that’s important, but how much money you make when you’re right and how much you lose when you’re wrong.” — George Soros