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Author: Rayvt Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76085  
Subject: Re: how to invest retirement funds and withdrawl Date: 3/21/2012 10:08 AM
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How can I safely go into SPY with lump sum at one time?

Realize that the market will do whatever it will do, regardless of how you invest your money. Your choice will only determine how much of the SPY return (or loss) your portfolio will be exposed to.

You either do it:
1) the emotional way, which is to minimize the regret you'll feel if the market subsequently goes down, or
2) the statistically-proven most profitable way.

The method for #1 is DCA -- dollar cost average. Divide your lump-sum by 10, (e.g., $50,000) and put $50K into SPY every month for 10 months.

The method for #2 is lump sum. Go in all at once. Just log in to your brokerage account and place a buy order for $500,000 of SPY.

Since the market, on average, goes up, the sooner you get your money invested the more of that gain you will get. But the market sometimes goes down, and if it goes down right after you put your $500K in, you will feel regret.

The question you need to ask yourself is, "Do I want to feel good, or do I want to make money?"

Most people, and especially most new investors, go for "feel good", so they choose DCA, even though the facts show that they make less money.
People generally feel the pain of a loss 3 times more strongly than the pleasure of a profit, and that's why they try to minimise regret.

If you absolutely insist on doing DCA (as you most probably will), at least do is with an improved methodology, shown in this paper: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2008465 .

In this as with many investing questions, Google Is Your Friend. But the way most people research with google is wrong. What you want is to see both the pro & con sides, so google "problems dollar cost averaging".

People use the same term, DCA, for 2 different things. One is for periodic investing an amount of each paycheck, the other is how to invest a large lump sum. Don't confuse these two. Your question is about the lump sum.
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