Investing Education

What is Dollar-Cost Averaging in Private Real Estate?

Dollar-Cost Averaging in Private Real Estate

Time and time again, history tells us that trying to time the market may work out for some in the short term but that it’s a fool’s errand over the longer term. When using the stock market as an example, the evidence of this point is overwhelming. From 1998 to 2017 the stock market generated a 7.2% annualized return. If an investor missed the 20 best days of those 20 years due to misjudgment, their annualized return would have been only 1.15%. Thankfully, investors can employ a more prudent strategy without trying to time the market. It’s called dollar-cost averaging and it can not only be applied to stock market investing, but also to investing in other asset classes, such as open-end private real estate funds.

Dollar-cost averaging is a systematic process in which an investor divides the total amount of capital they’d like to invest in the particular asset by the number of periodic contributions they’d like to make, or invest, in that asset over a period of time. The resulting dollar amount for each periodic contribution is then invested at a strategic frequency determined by the investor (example: every month, every three months, etc.) This effort attempts to reduce the impact of asset pricing volatility on their overall investment and minimize the average asset pricing in which they have invested at by the time they’ve made all their period contributions.

The example below depicts the impact of employing a dollar-cost averaging strategy when investing $1 million in Origin’s IncomePlus Fund from the first quarter of 2020 through the third quarter of 2020.In the example above, the investor invests at an average price per unit of $9.59. If that same investor invested the full $1 million in the first quarter of 2020 instead of dollar-cost averaging, their average price per unit would be $10.00.

However, the optimal dollar-cost averaging frequency is not a one-size fits all strategy for every investor and every asset class. For example, an investor planning to invest in small cap technology companies in October 2020 may take a more conservative approach and plan to dollar-cost average their technology investment with monthly, or even weekly, contributions over the next 12 months due to broader volatility and pricing concerns that exist in the technology sector today. On the flipside, if that same investor is also planning to invest in private multifamily real estate starting in October 2020, they may employ a different dollar-cost averaging strategy for multifamily real estate than they do for their investment in technology companies.

Origin’s IncomePlus Fund employs a diversified strategy and has an evergreen structure with monthly re-pricing, allowing investors to employ a dollar-cost averaging strategy via the fund’s four to six contribution windows per year. The Fund also offers a distribution reinvestment program (DRIP), allowing investors to further dollar-cost average and take advantage of compounding returns by automatically re-investing their monthly distributions back into the Fund.

This article is intended for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on, for investment, tax, legal or accounting advice. The information is provided as of the date indicated and is subject to change without notice. Origin Investments does not have any obligation to update the information contained herein. Certain information presented or relied upon in this article may come from third-party sources. We do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information and may receive incorrect information from third-party providers.