Dollar Cost Averaging

Dollar cost averaging is an alternative strategy to investing a lump sum. Using this approach you invest a set amount at regular intervals over time. This method of investing can be a powerful risk reduction strategy during times of market volatility or uncertainty, and can help you avoid the pitfalls of trying to choose the best time to invest.  

Investor A: $200,000 lump sum investment with no dollar cost averaging 

month unit price ($) units purchased value of investment ($) 
1 1.00 200,000 200,000 
2 0.70 0 140,000 
3 0.80 0 160,000 
4 0.90 0 180,000 
5 1.10 0 220,000 

Investor A’s patience has been rewarded by an increase in the value of the initial investment. 


Investor B: $200,000 invested over five months, at $40,000 per month dollar cost averaging

month unit price ($) units purchased value of investment ($) 
1 1.00 40,000 40,000 
2 0.70 57,143 68,000 
3 0.80 50,000 117,714 
4 0.90 44,444 172,428 
5 1.10 36,363 250,745 

Investor B has a greater investment value at the end of the five months. By committing to a regular investment amount, despite the fluctuating price movements, Investor B was able to purchase some units in the managed investment at a reduced price. In fact, the average unit price that Investor B was able acquire units for was $0.88. 

Lump Sum or Dollar Cost Averaging? 

The principle of dollar cost averaging does not mean that investing a lump sum is not an appropriate strategy. If markets rise in value over a long period of time after you make your initial lump sum investment, this method can be advantageous. 

However, if you are reluctant to commit a lump sum in an uncertain market, dollar cost averaging can help minimise the risk of timing your entry into the market. If you enter into a dollar cost averaging strategy it is important to view it as a risk minimisation strategy as opposed to a way of maximising returns. 

As always, if you would like to discuss the contents of this newsletter please give us a call 07 5559 5760.

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