All That Jazz

Jerry Sloan, the legendary coach of the Utah Jazz, recently passed away. Mr. Sloan had a stellar career as a player and a coach. As a player, he was twice an all-star, and his number was retired by the Chicago Bulls.  In 2009, he was enshrined in the NBA hall of fame for his coaching ability. He coached the Utah Jazz for more than 20 years, “the longest coaching tenure with the same team in professional sports,” and retired as the 4th winningest coach in NBA history.[1] Mr. Sloan was consistent and respected.

Coach Sloan led the Utah Jazz to their first NBA finals in 1997 with players Karl Malone and John Stockton. The Utah Jazz teams under Sloan weren’t flashy like the Lakers, nor did they have the pedigree of the Celtics, and they weren’t as coarse as the Pistons, but they were fundamentally sound, and nice – like most people in Utah.

If Coach Sloan were an investment professional, he probably would have been a fan of dollar-cost averaging, a consistent strategy that relies on fundamentals and patience. The dollar-cost averaging strategy lacks the flair of private equity, liquid alts, futures trading, IPOs, or option collars. Still, it is stable and reliable, and for most investors, it delivers results.

How does dollar-cost averaging work? This strategy requires you to invest a fixed dollar amount each month into a mutual fund or several funds. Let’s look at an example. You decide to invest $500 per month in Vanguard’s 500 Index Fund (VFINX) over several years.

  • One Year: After one year, your investment is worth $5,950, and it generated a loss of 1.83%.
  • Five Years: After five years, your investment is worth $37,298. It generated an average annual return of 8.92% and produced a gain of $7,298.
  • Ten Years: After ten years, your investment is worth $105,927. It generated an average annual return of 11.11% and produced a gain of $45,927.
  • Twenty Years: After twenty years, your account is worth $310,255. The 20-year average annual return was 8.74%, and it produced a gain of $190,255.
  • Thirty Years: After thirty years, your account is worth $818,929. The 30-year average annual return was 8.79%, and it produced a gain of $638,929.
  • Forty Years: After forty years, your account is worth $2.97 million. The 40-year average annual return was 10.24%, and it produced a gain of $2.73 million.

For the dollar-cost averaging strategy to reward shareholders over time a down market is needed, and the lower, the better. If you’re investing for the long haul, a down market will allow you to accumulate shares at lower prices. Your share accumulation will pay dividends when the stock market recovers because you will own more shares at higher prices. If you participate in a 401(k) plan, you likely witnessed this happening in your account.

If you’re looking for an easy way to accumulate wealth, look no further than the dollar-cost averaging strategy. A calculated, consistent investment strategy over time is a winning formula. This strategy is easy to institute, and you can do it with an IRA, 401(k), 403(b), 529 Plan, or taxable brokerage account, and you can start it with any dollar amount.

Courage is the most important of all the virtues because, without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” ~ Maya Angelou

May 30, 2020

Bill Parrott, CFP®, is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management located in Austin, Texas. Parrott Wealth Management is a fee-only, fiduciary, registered investment advisor firm. Our goal is to remove complexity, confusion, and worry from the investment and financial planning process so our clients can pursue a life of purpose. Our firm does not have an asset or fee minimum, and we work with anybody who needs financial help regardless of age, income, or asset level. PWM’s custodian is TD Ameritrade, and our annual fee starts at .5% of your assets and drops depending on the level of your assets.

Note: Investments are not guaranteed and do involve risk. Your returns may differ from those posted in this blog. PWM is not a tax advisor, nor do we give tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor for items that are specific to your situation. Options involve risk and are not suitable for every investor.


[1], website accessed May 29, 2020.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.