Dollar-Cost Averaging

Instead of attempting to time the market and buy securities (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs) when their prices are low, dollar-cost averaging is a strategy to buy a smaller, consistent amount periodically to smooth out the purchase cost.

For example if you had $5,000 to invest in a specific mutual fund, you could try and time the market and choose a time to use the entire $5,000 to buy as much as you can when you think the cost is low. This is difficult to do, and you can miss lots of time in the market waiting for the right time.
Instead, you could use dollar-cost averaging to buy $417 of the fund every month over the next year. In the end, you’ll have the same $5,000 invested but your decisions on when to buy are already made up for you and you won’t miss your chance waiting for the “perfect” time to buy.