3 ASX shares Warren Buffett might buy and hold

In his 1988 letter to shareholders, legendary investor Warren Buffett wrote: “When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favourite holding period is forever.”

This investment strategy has served Mr Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway extremely well, helping him produce an estimated return of over 20% per year for the last 50 years.

Let me put that into context for you. If you were able to replicate Buffett’s success over the next 50 years with an initial investment of just $10,000, it would eventually be worth a whopping $91 million.

Finding investments that would fit the criteria of a Warren Buffett pick on the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) is easier said than done, but I do believe there are some.

Three companies which I believe investors could look at holding forever are as follows:

Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH)

Hearing implant maker Cochlear is the market leader in its category. This is a great position to be in considering recent research indicates that the global cochlear implants market is growing strongly. It is expected to grow by a compound annual growth rate of almost 15% through to 2020. This growth comes as a result of the rapid increase in ageing populations around the world, as well as a notable rise in acquired hearing loss. Most recently it reported a 32% rise in interim profit to $94 million.

CSL Limited (ASX: CSL)

The global specialty biotherapeutics company is definitely a share I think investors could buy and hold for a very long time thanks to its market-leading position and innovative team. As its products are critical for patients suffering from haemophilia or liver deficiencies, I believe demand should remain strong indefinitely. Its recent acquisition of vaccines from Novartis makes it the second-biggest influenza vaccine manufacturer in the world. Although it is expected to be loss-making to begin with, eventually I believe it will be a profitable segment which propels the share price to even greater heights.

Transurban Group (ASX: TCL)

Transurban is Australia’s toll road king and has the rights to operate a number of vital toll roads in Australia for at least the next two decades. It recently released its March quarter traffic figures which showed toll revenue increased by 13% year-over-year, despite a small drop in traffic volume. Incidentally, the drop in traffic volume is nothing to panic over and is attributable to an early Easter holiday period compared with last year. As Australia’s population increases, I believe roads will become even more congested, which will result in ever-increasing demand for Transurban’s toll roads.

Foolish takeaway

In my opinion, these three shares are great buy and hold investments. Whether or not you could expect to hold them forever, time will tell. But for at least the next decade I would expect them to remain at the top of their game. If you would like even more ideas then these three blue chips could be worth five minutes of your time. Much like Cochlear, CSL, and Transurban, they all have a great possibility of providing investors with strong returns in the future, as well as paying good dividends.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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