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Value Averaging


Value averaging is an investment strategy that involves adjusting the amount invested in a particular asset based on its periodic performance to maintain a predetermined target value. This method aims to invest more funds when the asset price is lower and less when the asset price is higher. This systematic approach helps to manage risk and potentially increase long-term returns by emphasizing the buy-low-sell-high principle.


The phonetics of the keyword “Value Averaging” is as follows:Value: /ˈvæl.juː/Averaging: /ˈæv.ər.ɪdʒ.ɪŋ/

Key Takeaways

  1. Reduced Risk: Value averaging helps in reducing the investment risk by adjusting the investment amounts periodically based on the target growth rate. This way, the investor ends up buying more shares when the prices are low and fewer when the prices are high, ultimately leading to a lower average cost of investment.
  2. Disciplined Investing: By setting a predetermined value path and adjusting investments accordingly, value averaging promotes disciplined investing. It ensures that the investor sticks to a plan, regardless of market fluctuations, and does not make impulsive decisions based on emotions or short-term market trends.
  3. Better Returns: Value averaging, when executed consistently and with discipline, has the potential to provide better returns compared to other investment strategies like dollar-cost averaging. By allocating varying amounts of money to share purchases, the investor captures the benefits of market volatility and generally secures a favorable average share price over time.


Value Averaging is an important concept in business and finance, as it is a systematic investment strategy aimed at mitigating risks associated with market fluctuations and ensuring more consistent portfolio growth. By investing fixed dollar amounts at varying intervals and adjusting the contributions based on the actual performance of the investment, investors can acquire more shares when the market is low and fewer shares when it is high, thereby averaging the cost basis. This disciplined approach helps investors avoid the pitfalls of market timing and emotional decision-making, while promoting long-term growth and wealth accumulation.


Value averaging is an investment strategy primarily used by individual investors to achieve a more consistent and smoother growth of their investment portfolios over time. The primary purpose of value averaging is to minimize the risk associated with investing by ensuring that the total value of invested assets reach a pre-determined amount or “portfolio value” at each periodic interval, typically on a monthly or quarterly basis. This goal is achieved by adjusting the investment amounts in the subsequent periods based on the performance of the portfolio during the previous period. By doing so, the investor aims to systematically buy more shares when the prices are low and buy fewer, or even sell, when the prices are high. The value averaging technique serves the purpose of helping investors to avoid common psychological pitfalls related to market volatility, such as panic selling during market declines or buying excessively during market booms. By adhering to a predetermined plan, the investor can remain disciplined and committed to a long-term investment strategy, which can lead to better overall returns. Additionally, value averaging can help refine the traditional dollar-cost averaging strategy, by emphasizing the importance of asset allocation and the rebalancing of portfolios. In essence, value averaging is an effective tool for individual investors who seek a more disciplined and systematic approach to managing their investments and strives to create a favorable balance between risk and reward over the long term.


Value averaging, also known as dollar value averaging (DVA), is an investment strategy that aims to grow an investor’s portfolio value by a fixed amount at regular intervals. It involves adjusting the amount invested in accordance with the portfolio’s current value – investing more when the market is down and less when the market is up. Here are three real-world examples of how value averaging can be applied in different contexts: 1. Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Investment: Suppose an individual sets a goal of increasing their IRA value by $1,000 each quarter. They decide to use value averaging to achieve this goal. In the first quarter, their IRA value is $5,000; the investor contributes the target of $1,000, taking the total to $6,000. In the next quarter, if the IRA value has increased to $6,800, they only add $200 to reach their target of $7,000 to maintain the value averaging strategy. 2. 529 College Savings Plan: Parents want to invest in a 529 plan to save for their child’s college education and have decided to use a value averaging approach. They aim to increase the plan’s value by $500 every month. They invest more money during months when the market is down to ensure their target is met and reduce their investments when the market is performing well. 3. Investment Club: A group of friends form an investment club to pool their money and invest in stocks together. They decide to follow a value averaging strategy to grow their club’s portfolio value by a fixed amount each month. Each member adjusts their monthly contribution based on the club’s overall portfolio value, ensuring they stick to the value averaging plan.In each of these examples, value averaging helps investors maintain a consistent growth rate for their investment portfolios while mitigating some market volatility risks. The strategy results in potentially less emotional decision-making, promoting disciplined investing, and taking advantage of market fluctuations.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is value averaging?
Value averaging, also known as dollar value averaging or DVA, is an investment strategy where an investor adjusts the amount invested in a particular asset to maintain a predetermined rate of growth in the total invested value. The technique aims to mitigate the risk of market fluctuations by investing more during a market decline and investing less during a market rise to maintain a constant growth rate.
How does value averaging differ from dollar-cost averaging (DCA)?
While both value averaging and dollar-cost averaging are investment strategies, the key difference lies in the approach. In dollar-cost averaging, an investor consistently invests a fixed amount of money at regular intervals, regardless of the asset’s price. Value averaging, however, focuses on adjusting the investment amount to reach a predetermined portfolio value, contributing more when the price is low and less when the price is high.
What is the goal of value averaging?
The primary goal of value averaging is to minimize the risk of market fluctuations while maintaining a steady investment growth rate. By regulating the investment amount based on market conditions, investors can potentially achieve better returns compared to investing a fixed amount at regular intervals.
Is value averaging suitable for all types of investors?
Value averaging is suitable for disciplined and long-term investors who can consistently invest and re-balance their portfolios at regular intervals. Due to its dependence on market timing, this investment strategy may not be ideal for those who are not comfortable with constantly monitoring their investments or who hold passive investment strategies.
How can I implement value averaging in my investment strategy?
To implement value averaging, start by determining your investment goal, the time horizon, and the targeted growth rate for your investment. Calculate the required investment amount for each period to reach the predetermined value and adjust your investments accordingly. Remember to re-balance your portfolio at regular intervals to ensure your investments stay on track with your targeted growth rate.
Are there any downsides or risks to value averaging?
Value averaging, like any investment strategy, carries risks. One of the main risks involves higher transaction costs due to frequent re-balancing, which might affect overall returns. Additionally, value averaging relies on market timing, which can be challenging to predict accurately. Investors who do not have the discipline or time to monitor the market consistently might find this strategy to be difficult to maintain in the long run.

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