Dollar-cost averaging is a strategy in which a person invests a fixed dollar amount on a regular basis, usually monthly purchase of shares in a mutual fund. When the fund’s price declines, the investor receives slightly more shares for the fixed investment amount, and slightly fewer when the share price is up. It turns out that this strategy results in lowering the average cost slightly, assuming the fund fluctuates up and down

dollarcost1.jpgDollar-cost averaging is carried out simply by investing a fixed dollar amount into your mutual fund (or other investment instrument) at pre-determined intervals. The amount of money invested at each interval remains the same over time, but the number of shares purchased varies based on the market value of the shares.

When the markets are up, you buy fewer shares per dollar invested due to the higher cost per share. When the markets are down, the situation is reversed and you purchase a greater of number of shares per dollar invested. It’s a strategic way to invest because you buy more shares when the cost is low, so you get an average cost per share over time, meaning you don’t have to invest the time and effort to monitor market movements and strategically time your investments.

Dollar-cost averaging – the basic premise behind employer-sponsored savings plans like is the practice of investing a set amount each month in a particular investment vehicle. As the share price of your investment fluctuates, so will the number of shares your set amount buys. Sometimes you’ll pay more and sometimes the stock or mutual fund will decrease in value, allowing you to purchase additional shares.

With the vast and varied information available on investing, many have chosen to stop chasing yesterday’s high returns. Using dollar-cost averaging helps them ride out the ups and downs of the market.

Dollar cost averaging involves continuous investment in securities, regardless of fluctuating price levels. Investors should consider their ability to continue purchases through periods of low price levels r chancing economic conditions. Dollar cost average does not assure a profit and does not protect against a loss in a declining market.

Dollar-cost averaging isn’t for everyone. Short-term investors and those concerned about market volatility won’t benefit from the slow and steady pace of dollar-cost averaging. Always meet with a financial professional before investing. For those who want to invest a consistent amount each month and potentially lessen the effects of market volatility, it might be an option.

The main conclusion I can draw that one should not delay investing. If you want to invest, say, $100 in a mutual fund in a year, you should start invest immediately. If you have $1,200 spare money to invest on the first work day of January, split it to quarterly or monthly, as the markets could be on a high on 1st January and you are stuck with the same purchase price. It also helps make investing easier to budget, as the same dollar amount will be purchased at regular, predictable intervals.

cs1818.jpgYou’re young, you just landed a new job and you’re going to be getting a decent pay check. You also have bills and student loans to pay and there are also a few items that you’ve always wanted so now you can finally afford them.

Investing for your retirement may be the last thing on your mind at the start of a new career. Especially being so young. Take some advice from those with a little more experience: Start investing early in your career. Start from day one and you will never miss that money you’re setting aside. Even if it’s only a few dollars a week. They add up to millions by the time retirement age rolls around.

It really does make a difference when you start contributing. It is important to invest in your retirement account early in your career for two reasons. First, if you’re fortunate to receive matching contributions, you don-t want to miss out on those added contributions that are a significant part of your benefit. Second, the longer contributions stay in your account, the more you stand to gain. Your money makes money in the form of earnings, and those earnings in turn make money, and so on. This is what is known as the “miracle of compounding.” As money grows in your account over time, the proportion resulting from earnings will become larger compared to the proportion resulting from contributions. And the best part is you don’t have to pay taxes on the earnings until you with draw them.

By investing the money wisely, typically starting off with investments that build slowly but steadily, you are able to better ensure you have money for your later years. And just because your later years are far away doesn’t mean you should wait to invest. The thing is that the best investments are the ones that take time to pay off. The ones that make you rich over night are few and far between and are also the ones that are risky enough to make you broke overnight as well.

The size of your account balance is going to depend on how much you (and your company if they match funds up to a certain percentage) contribute to your account and how your account grows as a result of earnings on your investments. To get an idea of what your retirement account could be in the future, look at the following projection.

A starts putting away $100 a month when she’s 22. Her money grows at 8 percent a year, and after ten years she stops contributing – and lets her stake grow. B waits until he’s 32 to set aside $100 a month, also growing at 8 percent a year, and he keeps it up until he hits 64. When they both retire at 64, she will have $234,600, and he’ll have only $177,400. Need I say more?

Looking at the numbers, it’s hard to imagine why someone wouldn’t start investing immediately!

You will need to make a clear plan of how to get where you want to. The financial plan needs to be broken down into realistic achievable goals with a clear deadline. The plan needs to include how much you are currently using to pay off debts, how much you are currently using to cover all living expenses and how much you are currently saving.

When you have that clear you need to look at where you are going to cut costs.financialplanlearnmore.jpg
What can you live without?
Do you subscribe to magazines or newspapers you do not need?
Do you have memberships you do not need?
Is your rent or mortgage very expensive?
Are you spending a lot of money on driving where you do not need to go?
Do you rather eat out then cook yourself?
Do you pay too much for electricity, telephone, Internet connection and TV?
Do you have the best credit card, insurance, rent or mortgage and bank account deals you can get?

The meaning of these questions is that you should not settle with what you have now. Then your situation will stay the same.

Always shop around for better deals and always look at how you can cut costs.
Maybe you find out you need to move to another place where it is less expensive.
Maybe you need to eat more canned beans.
Maybe you need to use your bike, or your feet instead of the car.
Maybe you need to read magazines only when you go to the dentist or to the hairdresser.

Whatever it takes to improve your financial situation; decide to do it.

Write down both the longer term goals, medium term goals and the short term goals and what you will do to achieve them.

You need to set time limits for when you want to achieve the goals you worked out in the previous step.

Write down exactly what you are going to do to achieve them.

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