What is ‘Dollar-Cost Averaging (DCA)’
Dollar-cost averaging (DCA) is an investment technique of buying a fixed dollar amount of a particular investment on a regular schedule, regardless of the share price. The investor purchases more shares when prices are low and fewer shares when prices are high.
The DCA technique does not guarantee that an investor won’t lose money on investments. Rather, it is meant to allow investment over time instead of investment as a lump sum.
BREAKING DOWN ‘Dollar-Cost Averaging (DCA)’
Fundamental to the strategy is a commitment to investing a fixed dollar amount each month. Depending on an investor’s investment objectives and risk profile, the monthly contributions can be invested in a mixed portfolio of mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or even individual stocks. Each month, the fixed amount buys shares at the then-current prices. As share prices decline, the fixed amount buys a higher number of shares; when prices increase, the fixed amount buys fewer shares. The real value of dollar-cost averaging is that investors don’t need to worry about investing at the top of the market or trying to determine when to get in or out of the market.