We believe that one of the best ways to take advantage of the rise and fall of the stock market is through automatic investing. Automatic investing is exactly as it sounds. You determine a set amount of money you can afford and allow it to automatically invest into a mutual fund or mix of funds on a set schedule each month. We call this Dollar Cost Averaging, or DCA for short and is the very principle by which you invest into your employer’s retirement plan. Using a DCA strategy, you’ll likely achieve the average price of the security over a period of time. Because it is impossible to accurately predict the direction of the markets we usually advise our clients to avoid trying to time the market.
Here’s how to set it up:
- Link your bank account to your investment account.
- Choose an amount of money to invest.
- Choose which funds to invest in.
- Choose a time period.
- Set up the automatic instructions with your investment advisor.
If you have a long-term time horizon, you’ll want to think of the market in this manner: it’s on sale. This means you want the market to drop in value while you’re buying. It’s a pretty simple concept but yet we often get too lost in the misguidance of measuring short-term gains at the expense of the long-term strategy. The longer you set your focus, we believe the better you’ll feel about your investment strategy. Automatic Investing takes the guesswork out of deciding when to jump into the market. Over time, the markets will hopefully move higher, but while you’re contributing, you want to act selfish and hope you’re buying low so that someday, you can sell high.
There are dozens of decisions involved when choosing an investment strategy. Don’t go at it alone. We’ll help you back test your strategy and offer some suggestions on how you can improve it. We help our clients analyze their investment options and risk tolerance and then build an investment strategy that fits their lifestyle and wherever it may lead them. We want to be your financial partner. Get in touch with a Charleston Financial Advisor today!