Why Dollar-Cost Averaging is Key During Uncertain Times

Since the creation of the stock market, one question has plagued investors. How do I ensure I’m not buying into the market at the wrong time? While many claim to have a crystal ball and know exactly what is around the corner. The team at UNest believes in using a more proven approach, Dollar-Cost Averaging. When dollar cost averaging investors pick a set amount of money to invest on the same day every month and then sit back and watch their portfolios improve. Or in the case of our clients, their children’s future improve. In this article, we will explore the economic and psychological benefits of dollar-cost-averaging.

The practice of dollar-cost averaging is investing a fixed amount across your UNest portfolio — regularly, no matter the market conditions are. If share prices are higher you will purchase fewer shares that month. If they are lower you will be getting a discount and buying more. It’s an easy way to be sure you’re not buying everything at the highest possible price, and people often use it because they believe it’s the best way to reduce volatility in the long run. 

At UNest, we enable dollar-cost averaging through our recurring contribution option within your UNest account. With this feature, you may take a portion of your income and invest it into your child’s future regularly. Investments are made on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. As noted earlier, our goal is to help clients manage risk and maintain consistent investments.  

Here’s an example of how this approach can decrease volatility:

Let’s say you’re going to invest $100 a month for seven months. Below is a case of monthly contributions and their returns.

The most beneficial part of dollar-cost averaging is psychological, not financial. For those who are risk-averse or new to investing, this is an excellent opportunity to ease into the market. Investing small amounts regularly vs. a large lump sum allows the investor to get comfortable with normal market fluctuations. 

To summarize, the key advantages of dollar-cost-averaging are listed below: 

  1. Investors reduce the short-term risks associated with a market crash, especially relevant in turbulent times like those we find ourselves in today.
  2. By investing the same amount every month, investors automatically buy more shares when the market is down and fewer when the market is up. 
  3. Peace of mind for the investor. 

At UNest, we believe that the path to a debt-free future for our children is by actively managing our client’s 529 accounts and encouraging them to contribute the same amount regularly. While dollar-cost-averaging is not for everyone, we believe it will offer a stable path to success for your family.


Blogs and articles contain the current, good faith opinions of the authors but not necessarily those of UNest. The documents are meant for educational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any type.  The documents may contain forward-looking statements.

Ksenia Yudina, CFA, MBA

Founder and CEO

Ksenia is the Founder and CEO of U-Nest, the first mobile app that makes it easy for families to save for college. As an entrepreneur and finance professional, Ksenia has focused on alleviating the impact of student debt on families across the economic spectrum. Previously, Ksenia was a Vice President atCapital Group/American Funds, the largest 529 provider in the U.S. In this role, she played a leadership role in helping parents plan and manage their finances, with a focus on the future well-being of their children. Prior to Capital Group/American Funds, she was founder of a residential real estate company. Ksenia earned her bachelor’s degree in finance from CaliforniaState University Northridge, and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

Mike Van Kempen

Chief Operating Officer

Mike joined U-Nest in September 2019 as COO. He was previously at Acorns, a financial wellness platform, where he spearheaded the analytics and growth initiatives. Mike successfully expandedAcorns’ paid acquisition strategy, adding over 4.5 million investment accounts. Mike began his career in strategy & analytics at Belly, a Chicago-based loyalty startup in 2012. At Belly, Mike led projects that fueled growth across all aspects of the business, growing the customer base from1,000 to over 11,000 merchants, and accumulating a membership of over 2 million customers.Mike holds a B.B.A. in Finance from Loyola University of Chicago.

Steve Buchanan

Chief Technology Officer

Steve has over 20 years of experience in delivering digital innovations in the financial sector. Steve previously orchestrated product architecture and innovation as a Solutions Architect/ Fintech consultant at Union Bank. Prior to Union Bank, he was Chief Architect and Director of Engineering at Calypso, a Silicon Valley startup, where he architected and built multiple financial solutions. He was also Head of Global Integrations at Globe One in Vietnam where he integrated its Peer-to-Peer lending products into core banking solutions. Steve also built the first ever electronic Equities &Equity Options trading systems for Scottish stock brokers Wood Mackenzie (acquired by CountyNatWest). He is a graduate of Edinburgh University.

Peter Mansfield

Chief Marketing Officer

Peter has built an impressive track record in multiple financial industry segments including payments, credit/prepaid cards and lending. He has played an instrumental role at a succession of financial industry leaders, co-founding companies such as Brand3 (acquired by American Express) and PropertyBridge (acquired by Moneygram), and, as the early stage marketing lead at Marqeta (where he was team member number two), BillFloat and WallabyFinancial (acquired by Bankrate).He has helped fast-growth companies reach an aggregate market value of close to $8 billion. Peter holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Angila, UK.

Sonya Kidman

Client Relationship Manager

Sonya Kidman is a Customer Success professional with a decade of experience in advocating for consumer through user research and genuine empathy. Sonya specializes in user behavior and regularly attends national and global training sessions in wellness and people analytics tools. Sonya is a true global citizen was born in Russia, grew up in Israel, lived and worked in Canada and NewZealand. That global expertise along with an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Tel AvivUniversity have helped to shape a bullet-prof Sonya's framework to develop a winning customer strategy.

Frank Mastrangelo

Board Member

One part banker and one part technologist, Frank spent his early days with the Annenberg Foundation and PNC Bank. His career path led him to Jefferson Bank, where he led the build-out of its electronic banking platforms, and where he would forge a powerful alliance with The Bancorp co-founder Betsy Z. Cohen. As President and COO of The Bancorp from its inception in 1999 Frank played a critical role in helping the organization become an industry bellwether for branchless financial services and a global leader in payments. For this, he has become a widely respected fintech expert, and thought-leader. Frank was recognized in 2013 by Banking Innovation, a leading industry journal, as an “Innovator to Watch.” and as one of the innovators shaping the future of banking. Frank is a graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania.


College Savings Calculator is a hypothetical tool that demonstrates how monthly contributions, age-based asset rebalancing, and tax savings may impact the long-term value of your account, and do not take into account a portfolio’s underlying investment management fees. Calculations assume the private institution cost inflation is 2.8%, public out of state cost inflation is 3.9%, public in state cost inflation is 2.7%. Portfolio is assumed to have only stocks and bonds. Monthly equity returns are based on the historical data from the 10-year track record of the stock market (SPY). Monthly fixed income returns are based on the historical data from the 10-year track record of the bond market index (AGG). The current college expenses are provided by the collegeboard.org. Actual account performance may differ due to market fluctuations, changes in recurring investments, and asset allocation. The information provided here is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent actual or future performance of any investment option and is not intended to predict or project the investment performance of any security or index.