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First time poster, month-long lurker writes:

I have just sent in my initial purchase checks to a few different DRIPs which I feel confident about. I have a relatively high amount to start with (it's a lot of money to me, anyway), though I won't be able to regularly contribute more than 300 to 350 per month (LBYM really is the only way to go; I'm hoping to retire early and write fiction full time) to the collection of investments. Since the minimal initial purchase for each stock is much higher than that (even the shares of stock for which the certificates are on their way are higher than what I expect to contribute monthly), my monthly purchases will have to be sizeably lower than my initial investments. I would like to have my "start" money working for me as soon as possible, though I don't want to do anything stupid. The stocks I'm investing in seem to be "on sale" right now, but, as a new investor, I'm probably not the best judge of them. I have considered other investment plans and DRIPing is the only one I really feel comfortable with right now. My money right now is in a money market account earning just over 5% interest, though as soon as I take out any more money to invest the interest will drop significantly (I have made the initial purchases of the stock at this time).

My question is this: In the "interest" of dollar-cost averaging, would I be wiser to spread out my initial investment over the course of, say, a year (250 a month or so for about 12 months, keeping the balance in CDs or a money market account before dripping it into my investments) or should I buy as much as I can afford in the next few months and ease myself (something like: 1000 this month, then 800 next month, then 600, then 400 the month after that and 200 the following and then 100/month thereafter) into the regular purchase plan-mode.

For others on the board, how does your initial purchase fit into the dollar-cost averaging plan and how do you minimize the risk?

Thanks in advance.

Alex.
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