The Smart Investor's Guide to Dollar-Cost Averaging in 2024
By Evelyn Harper profile image Evelyn Harper
3 min read

The Smart Investor's Guide to Dollar-Cost Averaging in 2024

Finding strategies that mitigate risk while maximizing potential returns can get challenging. One such strategy is dollar-cost averaging (DCA), which offers you a way to counter the market volatility while potentially enhancing your investment outcomes.

This guide dives deep into what DCA is, how it works, and why it might be the approach you’re looking for in your investment journey.

What is Dollar-Cost Averaging?

Dollar-cost averaging is an investment strategy where you invest a fixed amount of money into a particular asset or portfolio at regular intervals, regardless of the asset's price. 

The idea is simple yet powerful — by spreading out your investment over time, you can reduce the impact of market volatility on your investment portfolio.

The Mechanics Behind DCA

Let’s say you've decided to invest $100 monthly into a mutual fund. In some months, the fund's price per share might be high, and in others, it might be lower. 

By consistently investing the same amount, you'll buy fewer shares when prices are high and more shares when prices are low. Here’s a table to visualize it with numbers:


Price per Share ($): 10

Investment Amount ($): 100

Shares Purchased: 10.00

Total Shares: 10.00

Average Cost Per Share ($): 10.00


Price per Share ($): 8

Investment Amount ($): 100

Shares Purchased: 12.50

Total Shares: 22.50

Average Cost Per Share ($): 8.89


Price per Share ($): 5

Investment Amount ($): 100

Shares Purchased: 20.00

Total Shares: 42.50

Average Cost Per Share ($): 7.06


Price per Share ($): 7

Investment Amount ($): 100

Shares Purchased: 14.29

Total Shares: 56.79

Average Cost Per Share ($): 7.04


Price per Share ($): 9

Investment Amount ($): 100

Shares Purchased: 11.11

Total Shares: 67.90

Average Cost Per Share ($): 7.36

Over time, this strategy averages out the cost of your investments and lowers the total average cost per share of your investment. 

The "Total Shares" column shows the cumulative shares purchased, and the "Average Cost Per Share" column shows how the average cost per share decreases over time.

The Benefits of Dollar-Cost Averaging

Dollar-cost averaging shines in several areas. Here are a few benefits that you get with DCA:

  • Mitigates the market timing risk. DCA reduces the stress and uncertainty of trying to time the market, a feat many investors find impossible or highly challenging.
  • Offers you a disciplined investing approach. Regular investments encourage a long-term view, helping you stick to your investment plans through market ups and downs.
  • Has great flexibility and accessibility. DCA is suitable for you, whether you’re just starting out or looking to add stability to your portfolio.

How to Implement Dollar-Cost Averaging

If you’re ready to implement DCA across your portfolio, then make sure to follow the process below:

  1. Choose your investment. Start with selecting the assets or funds you want to invest in, considering your long-term financial goals and risk tolerance.
  2. Set your investment schedule. Decide on how much and how often you want to invest. Monthly investments are common, but choose what works best for your financial situation.
  3. Automate your investments. Many investment platforms allow you to automate your DCA plan, making it easier to stay consistent with your investment strategy.

Considerations and Challenges With DCA

While DCA is a potent strategy, it's not without its challenges. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Opportunity cost. In rapidly rising markets, DCA might result in a higher average cost compared to investing a lump sum early on.
  • Over-diversification. If not monitored, averaging into too many assets can dilute potential gains and complicate your investment portfolio.
  • Market downturns. Though DCA can mitigate some volatility, it doesn’t remove the risk of investing in a declining market.


By spreading out investments over time, dollar-cost averaging offers a steady approach to building wealth. Whether you're a seasoned investor or just starting out, DCA works well for everyone.

Here's to making informed, strategic investment decisions that pave the way to financial security and prosperity!

Please note that while our research is grounded in analyses conducted by market professionals, it should not be construed as direct investment advice. We are not registered investment advisors. As such, we offer insights intended to provide you with well-informed perspectives, aiming to assist you in making educated decisions. However, we do not provide warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information presented. Any investment decisions you make are at your sole discretion and responsibility.
By Evelyn Harper profile image Evelyn Harper
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