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would you recommend invest that sum over the next two years or so at a fixed amount on a fixed day? Or do you think it would be best to invest it all right now, regardless of how highly valued the markets are currently?

The benefit of averaging in a lump sum is to minimize the possibility of regret. So the question you have to ask yourself is "Do I prefer to be rich or emotionally comfortable?"

Here's a couple of quotes I have in my quotes file on the subject:

"Dollar averaging in a lump sum -- DCA :
any approach other than moving straight to your optimal allocation is financially suboptimal. However, some plans are less sub-optimal than others. For example, averaging-in over one year has quite a low expected cost. More efficient still would be to immediately move about 50% of the way to optimal (thereby getting 75% of the benefit) and then moving the rest of the way over the course of a year."
https://elmfunds.com/2017/03/whats-the-best-way-to-get-inves...


Look at it from another perspective. You average in over a 1 year period because you fear that the market will drop right after you invest. Right?
Okay, how long will you be invested? A 55 year old is looking at another 30+ years of life.
So you'll be fully invested for 29 years. So for 97% (29/30) of your remaining lifetime you will be 100% invested. What have you gained by deferring that for 3% (1/30) of your lifetime?

One way you are fully invested for all your life, the other way you are fully invested for almost all of your life.

Average in over a year. At the end of the year you are all in. If you were scared of the market dropping the first year, why aren't you equally scared of a market drop in the 2nd year? Makes no sense. There is nothing special about year #1 vs. year's 2 thru 30+.

Another from my quotes file:
"Waiting for a correction:
under the assumption that the market follows a random walk, as long as you believe the expected return of the market is higher than what you’d earn on your cash, the expected opportunity cost of waiting for a correction exceeds the expected benefit of investing after the correction.... ... confuse the chance of a correction from peak-to-trough with the lower chance of a correction from a fixed price level...
Putting these together, the mean expected cost of waiting for a correction was about 8% versus investing right away.

We note that while the probability of a correction inside the horizon is somewhat likely, it’s far from certain – and that when it doesn’t happen, the expected opportunity cost is much higher than the expected benefit."
https://elmfunds.com/2017/08/when-if-ever-has-it-paid-to-wai...



My own inclination is always to spread around the dollar-coast averaging.
Think it all the way through.
Keep in mind that your money can switch from 100% cash to 100% stocks with a click of the mouse. You can literally go from 100% stocks to 100% cash and back to 100% stocks in 2 seconds.

So...you ramp up from 0% stocks to 100% stocks in 12 months. What's different about month 12 month than month 1? If you wanted to ramp up from 0% to 100% THEN, why are you okay with staying at 100% NOW? Following that logic, you should now immediately go to 100% cash and then ramp up again. The effort to drop back to 0% is just one mouse click, it is virtually zero cost & effort, so there's no reason you can't do it.


I have to admit, once I thought about this averaging in thing --some 20-25 years ago-- I couldn't see the logic. And I still can't see the logic, so I have a hard time explaining why is seems like a useless and senseless thing to do. It's like if somebody came up to me and said they had an inclination to smash their hand with a hammer. That's such an obviously bad thing to do that you'd have a hard time explaining to them why it's a bad idea.
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