Dollar-cost averaging does not tell you what investment to buy (that's between you and your advisor), but it does do away with the problem of trying to figure out when to buy.
With dollar-cost averaging, you buy the same total amount of a particular investment regardless of the price.
So let’s say every three months you purchase $1,000 worth of units of the same investment. With fluctuations in the marketplace, sometimes the cost per unit will be higher, sometimes it will be lower.
When the price is lower, you end up buying more shares than when the price is higher.
Over time, it works out that you buy more units when the price is low and end up with more units in total than you would if you tried to figure out when the market was going to provide you with the best outcome.
Benefits of Dollar-Cost Averaging
Peace of mind – Regular investing means not having to worry about investing at a “high” point in the market or missing an opportunity to invest at low prices – in effect, you may receive, over time, a more “average” investment price.
Discipline – Dollar-Cost Averaging ensures that you don’t try to “time” the market, and it ensures you continue to invest even when markets are down (opportunities to invest at lower prices).
Pre-Authorized Chequing Plan
You can purchase any Manulife fund by making regular investments through a Pre-Authorized Chequing Plan (PAC). For a minimum initial and subsequent investment of $50, you can invest bi-weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, and semi-annually or annually – whichever you’re most comfortable with.
By establishing a PAC, you can budget for your particular needs. Investing becomes "invisible" and you can take advantage of dollar-cost averaging.
Benefits of a PAC
Convenience – no need to remember to sign and send a cheque each month to invest.
Flexibility – You can change or stop your plan at any time.
Predictability – PAC plans make budgeting for investing easier.