What lessons can you share when practicing dollar-cost averaging with a discount brokerage?
The goal is an inexpensive way to invest with every paycheck. With amounts that small, commissions have a large impact. So commissions are out, no-load funds are out and of course low expense ratios are desired.
It's easy to dollar-cost average within a company's own fund offerings. Whether index fund, no-load mutual fund, or ETF - a company typically offers its own family without a commission. Many brokerages offer No Transaction Fee (NTF) funds that are free to purchase. However, that freedom may come with higher expense ratios on the fund (that .40% charge is paid somehow). NTF agreements change and a nicely automated investing strategy can be ruined when a formerly NTF fund changes to a TF unannounced to you.
What investment vehicles are useful to consider? Any strategies? I'd appreciate particular brokerage thoughts as well. Vanguard has low costs. Fidelity and T. Rowe Price have many funds. TD Ameritrade looks enticing with access to Vanguard and iShares along with some others.