Have you ever ended up with a lump sum of cash you don’t plan to spend anytime soon? Whether you’ve sold a business, received a windfall, or just been a good saver, it’s nice to have “extra” cash on hand to invest toward the future. That said, it can be stressful to decide: Should you invest it all right away, or spread it out over time?

In his June 30 GRBJ article, Steve Starnes, MBA, CFP® offers answers that may surprise you. As Steve points out, “no one can forecast when [short-term] markets will go up or down.” Without knowing more, you may assume this means you should invest gradually, over time. But we do know more. While we can’t predict when markets will rise or fall, they’ve historically gone up more often than they’ve go down, generating overall positive returns for market participants.

From this perspective, the sooner you put your money to work in the market, the more time it has to grow more often. This explains why research has found that lump-sum investing usually outperforms a gradual buy-in.

That said, plunging a lump sum of cash into uncertain markets can be unnerving. Odds are in your favor, but there’s no guarantee the approach will work for you. If investing a lump sum feels too risky, you may still be better off buying in on a disciplined schedule. Learn more by plunging into Steve’s complete article.