The Synergy between Gearing and Dollar-Cost Averaging


In the complex investment strategies available to Australians today, two stand out for their simplicity yet profound impact on building wealth over time: gearing and dollar cost averaging. For investors ranging from personal finance enthusiasts and retirees to stock market newbies and young professionals, understanding and implementing these strategies can significantly enhance the potential for financial growth and stability. But what makes them so powerful, especially when combined?


What is Gearing?

Gearing, simply put, is the process of borrowing money to invest. In Australia, this strategy is particularly popular in property investment but can also be applied to stocks and other investment classes. The principle behind gearing is leverage; by using borrowed funds, investors can purchase larger assets than they could using only their available capital, potentially magnifying their returns if the value of their investment increases.

There are three main types of gearing:

  • Positive Gearing: Where the income from the investment (e.g., rent from a property or dividends from stocks) exceeds the cost of the loan (interest), resulting in a net profit.
  • Negative Gearing: Where the cost of the loan surpasses the income generated by the investment, creating a net loss. While this may seem unattractive at first glance, in Australia, tax deductions available for the losses incurred through negative gearing can make it a beneficial strategy for reducing taxable income.
  • Internal Gearing: Allows investors to use borrowed funds to amplify the returns on their investments. Click here to learn more.


What is Dollar Cost Averaging?

Dollar cost averaging (DCA) is an investment technique of buying a fixed dollar amount of a particular investment on a regular schedule, regardless of the share price. This approach means more shares are bought when prices are low and fewer shares are bought when prices are high, which can potentially lower the average cost per share over time. The beauty of DCA lies in its simplicity and its ability to help investors avoid the often futile effort of market timing.


The Benefits of Combining Gearing and DCA

When combined, gearing and dollar cost averaging offer Australian investors a compelling strategy for wealth accumulation, with several key benefits:

    1.     Leverage with a Lower Average Cost: By borrowing to invest, you can acquire more assets. Implementing DCA with the borrowed amount can further amplify your investment capacity, allowing you to potentially lower your average cost and diversify your portfolio more effectively.

    2.     Mitigate Risk: While gearing increases your investment capital, it also raises the risk due to the potential for higher losses. Dollar cost averaging can mitigate some of this risk by spreading out your investment purchases, protecting you against short-term volatility.

    3.     Tax Advantages: For those engaging in negative gearing, the ability to deduct the costs of gearing, such as interest on a loan, can provide tax benefits. Simultaneously, dollar cost averaging into negatively geared investments can enhance these benefits further by potentially boosting the return on investment over time.

    4.     Disciplined Investing: DCA encourages a disciplined approach to investing, promoting regular contributions that can lead to long-term financial health. When gearing is added to the mix, this disciplined approach can ensure borrowed funds are invested wisely and consistently.


Important Considerations

Before jumping into any investment strategy, there are critical considerations to take into account:

  • Debt Levels: Understand your capacity to service any loans taken out as part of a gearing strategy. Ensure that the investment’s returns will cover the loan costs, taking into account various market conditions.
  • Market Knowledge: Both gearing and DCA require a solid understanding of the market and the specific assets being invested in. Adequate research and sometimes professional advice are crucial to success.
  • Long-Term Focus: These strategies work best with a long-term perspective. Short-term market fluctuations are less impactful when viewed as part of a broader, long-term investment horizon.



For many Australian investors, the combination of gearing and dollar cost averaging represents a powerful tool in the quest for financial growth and security. Whether you’re a seasoned stock market player or just starting your investment journey, understanding how to effectively leverage these strategies can make a significant difference in your investment outcomes. Like all powerful tools, however, they come with their inherent risks and require a thoughtful and informed approach to maximise their benefits.

If you would like to improve your current investment strategies or are looking to start your investment journey, click here to organise a complimentary 20-minute phone call with an EPG Wealth adviser.

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