When your time horizon for investing is as long as Warren Buffett's, your universe of investable stocks for wealth building is larger than that of most investors. Rather than looking for short-term growth or a great dividend yield today with questionable dividend sustainability in the future, finding businesses that'll keep delivering tortoise-paced returns for 20 years or more ensures that you'll have an abundance of time for your initial investment to steadily compound in value, making you richer in the process. 

Most stocks don't have the history of consistent performance to justify such a long-term investment, unfortunately. Here are two that do have that long history, thereby making them ripe for a (very) long holding period. 

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1. Abbott Laboratories

Abbott Laboratories (ABT 0.19%) is an underrated dividend stock that's a fairly safe bet for the distant future. Because the company is highly diversified, with its sales stemming from medical diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, surgical tools, nutritional products, and other healthcare goods, its base of revenue is quite robust against economic and market headwinds.

And since it's always developing new products in high-growth segments, such as its latest blood glucose monitor device called the FreeStyle Libre 3, it's a more agile business than its market capitalization of $175 billion might suggest.

In 2022, Abbott Labs brought in $43.7 billion of revenue, with its diagnostics segment leading the way with $16.6 billion, helped by purchases of its coronavirus rapid diagnostic tests. The company's business is so diverse that even if a competitor were to erode market share in one product line, Abbott will still be competing in more markets than a Byzantine mosaic has tiles (and they have quite a few!).

And that's what gives management the confidence in its long-term success to keep hiking the dividend year after year. Its current forward dividend yield near 2% is a bit deceptive, as some investors might take it to imply that the company's utility as a passive income investment is limited. But that couldn't be further from the truth, as dividend growth will be a huge boon to shareholders in the long term. In the last five years alone, its payout rose by 82.1%, and you can probably count on Abbott Labs' dividend to keep rising over the next 20 years, given that it has paid out a dividend each quarter for the last 397 (!) quarters, while also increasing the size of its dividend each year for the last 51 years in a row.

So don't be dissuaded from buying shares for a long hold, as you'll need to hang on to your investment for years for the slow growth to translate into big passive income potential.

2. Realty Income

Property tends to be a good way of building wealth, and Realty Income (O -0.12%) lets investors get a slice of its massive pie of commercial real estate. In Q4 of 2022 alone, it invested $3.9 billion in buying and developing properties, with its assets totaling more than $49.6 billion. Thanks to constant execution of sale-leaseback transactions and other real estate investing strategies, the company's quarterly funds from operations (FFO) jumped by 545% over the last 10 years, topping $649.4 million, and the next 20 years could be even better. 

With 45.7% of its leases not up for renewal until after 2032, Realty Income is less likely to face a glut of unleased properties that would harm its margins anytime soon. Moving forward, it expects to invest in consumer medical space, E.U. real estate, vertical farming properties, and gambling halls, all of which it anticipates being areas of growth through the coming decades.

Its existing portfolio of grocery stores, convenience stores, drug stores, and other common retail locations won't be going out of style anytime soon, either. And the combination of growth-oriented investments and evergreen property investments is how it managed to grow its dividend by 161% since 2003.

Of course, that rate of dividend growth isn't very fast, but the point is that it's likely to be sustainable into the future. At the moment, its forward yield is above 4.6%, which isn't too shabby. If you decide to buy this stock for wealth-building, be aware that you'll need to be in it for the long haul as that's the pace of returns when it comes to Realty Income's commercial real estate.