ILAB 16 – William Bernstein: Lump Sum Investing vs. Dollar Cost Average


“Having a suboptimal strategy you can stick with, is far better than an optimal strategy you can’t”

    William Bernstein    

William Bernstein is a financial theorist, neurologist and Best Selling author of several books, including one of our favorites, The Intelligent Asset Allocator. He shows independent investors how to build a diversified portfolio without the help of a financial advisor.

In this episode we talk the possible risk tolerance of an all stock portfolio and what age you should be when investing. We discuss major advantages and disadvantages of lump sum investing over a dollar cost average approach especially over a 12-month period. Lastly the importance of knowing financial history to choose the best time to buy stocks and how it correlates with GDP. Listen to the end to hear Williams advice he would like to give to his younger self and other inspiring investors.







ILAB 16 Show Notes

Relevant links for guest: 

William’s Website –

Where are we:

Sam – Bangkok
Bill – Portland, Oregon


ArtofFX – start with just a $10,000 account (reduced from $25,000)

Fundrise – start with only $1,000 into their REIT funds (non-accredited investors OK)

Wealthfront – get your first $15,000 managed free

Betterment – get up to 1 year managed free

RealtyShares – try it free with ILAB link

Recommended Books:

William Bernstein – The Intelligent Asset Allocator
William Bernstein – The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio
William Bernstein – A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World
William Bernstein – The Investor’s Manifesto: Preparing for Prosperity, Armageddon, and Everything in Between

Discussed (relevant links):

Modern Portfolio Theory –
Efficient Market Hypothesis –
The Bernstein Portfolio model –
Do not dollar cost average for more than 12-months –

Time Stamp – Topic:

06:00 – How Bill got into finance
06:45 – A quantitative approach to finance
07:15 – The Intelligent Asset Allocator
08:15 – Modern portfolio theory
10:35 – The Bernstein asset allocation model
11:50 – Dialling up the stock exposure
12:15 – Stocks vs. bonds
13:00 – Risk tolerance
15:00 – Why stocks can be toxic in retirement
16:00 – Buying the basic asset allocation of funds
17:20 – The importance of sticking with an allocation
20:40 – Rebalancing your portfolio
22.15 – Simple vs. highly diversified portfolios
23:00 – Lump Sum investing vs. Dollar Cost Averaging
27:30 – The psychological part of investing
28:32 – Do not dollar cost average for more than 12 months
30:50 – What DCA buys you insurance against
32:00 – The importance of financial history
33:55 – GDP is not always correlated with stock returns
36:00 – What does Bill wish he knew 40 years ago
37:20 – Bill’s advice to young people


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