7 of the best UK shares I’d hold for at least 7 years Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Kevin Godbold | Sunday, 10th January, 2021 I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Image source: Getty Images. Kevin Godbold has no position in any share mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended DS Smith and Imperial Brands. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. See all posts by Kevin Godbold Enter Your Email Address Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. I’m keen to hold some of the best UK shares for the long term. Over extended periods, underlying business progress can drive the returns from my holdings.But businesses take time to develop and grow. So, holding for at least seven years feels like a decent timeframe to me. Ideally, I’d want to hold my stocks for much longer than that, perhaps for decades.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Compounding returns from the best UK sharesAnd while I’m holding those shares, I’d plough back in all my realised returns along the way so that my gains compound. For example, I’d reinvest shareholder dividends and any capital received from corporate actions. Or from gains received because I’ve decided to sell an investment for some reason.Of course, one simple and almost hands-off way to invest for the long term is to buy share funds. I could, for example, go for simple, low-cost tracker funds that mechanically follow the fortunes of indices such as the FTSE 100, FTSE 250 or America’s S&P 500. I could even target small-cap stocks with a tracker fund or a particular geographical niche. These days, we can find trackers to follow most approaches to investing we can think of.Or I could target managed share funds run by investment managers with a good reputation. Funds like those charge higher fees, but sometimes it’s worth it for the better returns the fund generates. I’m thinking of outperforming fund managers such as Nick Train, Terry Smith and Mark Slater. And other managers who have a strong record of performance but with less-well-known names. Of course, the risk is that previously strong-performing fund managers go on to underperform as Neil Woodford did.Automatic reinvestmentHowever, most funds have the advantage of providing an option to automatically reinvest dividends. And I can get it by choosing the ‘accumulation’ version of each fund rather than the ‘income’ version. I think that’s a great benefit because it makes my ongoing investing life as hands-off as possible. Indeed, I can take care of the process of compounding my investments up-front. Then I need simply invest in my chosen funds on a regular basis over a long period of time.There’s room in my portfolio for a core of fund investments. But in pursuit of higher returns, I’d also target some quality shares of individual companies. However, I don’t believe all companies are suitable as long-term investments. But I often find potential long-term investments in defensive sectors.For example, I like the big dividend yields on offer with energy company SSE and smoking products manufacturer Imperial Brands. Both companies operate in a defensive sector. But I’d also go for packaging companies DS Smith and Smurfit Kappa because they serve the defensive, fast-moving consumer goods sector.My final three long-term picks are meat-based food producer Cranswick, IT infrastructure company Computacenter and distributor Bunzl. All those companies appear to be well placed within a defensive niche in their markets.