If you are a beginner who has just started stock market trading, chances are there you have come with the same confusion. How many stocks should you own in your portfolio in order to make a desired level of diversification?
Well, investing in stock and curating a portfolio that meets your financial requirements is not as easy a task as it seems to be. The correct number of stocks to hold on your portfolio heavily depends on personal factors such as market condition, time horizon and risk appetite and your tendency for reading market news and keeping up to date on your stock holdings.
That’s why financial experts fail to give any single correct answer to this question.
When it comes to holding the ideal number of stocks in your portfolio, diversification is the main thing that you should focus on. A systematic diversification in your portfolio minimizes investment risks and can increase your chances of yielding huge returns. Also, experts said that diversification is the best way to invest assets in a variety of assets across different sectors.
Let’s discuss the approach at the value of diversification that helps you to identify long term and short term goals that lead to different investment options. The below points will help you to reach a satisfactory conclusion.
Understanding the ideal number of stocks should you have in your portfolio
For any investor, it would be ideal to maintain a stock that captures 5-6% of the entire portfolio, said Seth Klarman, a successful investor. As said above, the exact number of stocks in your portfolio is a personal choice based on your knowledge skills, risk appetite and time horizon.
Financial experts mostly said that 20 to 30 stocks are an ideal range for any portfolio. Generally speaking, many sources say 20 to 30 stocks is an ideal range for most portfolios. It’s important to maintain a balance between investing in a diverse range of assets and ensuring that you have the time and resources to manage these investments.
As there is no exact answer to this question, many experts believe that somewhere between 20 to 30 stocks are necessary to create a strong portfolio.
Diversification enables you to capitalize on potential growth in one area without losing out too much if another plunges since not all of your money is concentrated in that field.
Why A Diversified Portfolio Matters?
Diversification plays an important role in creating a portfolio. This is because diversifying your money in multiple sectors ensures your money stays safe. If one or few stocks fell down, the other industries from different sectors can compensate for the losses that occurred from the former stocks.
In the beginning, you can start with stocks, bonds and mutual funds. As long as you get experience further in diversification, you can increase investments which can vary by sector, company size, geographic location and more.
Here are the factors to consider while opting for the ideal number of stocks in the portfolio:
- Risk tolerance
This is one of the best risk tolerance factors one needs to be accounted for. Once you know your own risk appetite, you can easily select an industry, stocks and sector. Let’s understand with a suitable example. If the stock of one company under performs, the impact on your overall portfolio is negligible.
- Return Expectation
It should be noted that as the number of stocks in your portfolio increases, the overall returns on your portfolio decreases. This is because some stocks in the stock market outperform the other stocks while many stocks give average returns. So, the higher returns of a few potential stocks might down due to the performance of weak stocks, which in turn heavily impacts the overall portfolio.
Hence, for better returns, it is advisable to lower the number of stocks and diversify so that you can concentrate on specific companies in which you have confidence in them.
- Research Capability and Bandwidth
Before making a portfolio, it is important to do a stock market research and quality of information as it helps you to make a successful portfolio. Also, it helps to know how many stocks you should buy.
There is a number of aspects you need to figure for your research:
(i) The company’s fundamentals
Before selecting any stock, it is suggested to analyze the fundamentals of a stock. This is because knowing the fundamentals of a stock will provide you with detailed insight into a company. This will help you to opt for a company that will give you maximum returns in the future.
The fundamentals of the accompanying include earnings, profitability, cash flow statements, annual reports, the performance of a stock and operating margins. Picking a stock is just like marrying a company. You need to be 100 per cent confident in the growth proposition of a company. The higher the operating margin, the higher will be the efficiency of a company.
(ii) Capital Structure
The capital structure of a company is another important parameter as it provides stability and liquidity so that the company’s dependence on long term debt is low.
Management is a major performance indicator of the company and a stock performs well only if management is focused and growth-oriented. Hence, it is advisable to research management which is of utmost importance.
- The time horizon of investment
Many investors think that stocks give them overnight returns. However, this is not the case. If you create a healthy stock portfolio, then it would be better if you should not depend on overnight returns. Do remember that equity is a long term investment and most people use the buy and hold strategy for the same.
The Bottom Line
The ideal stocks one should have in its portfolio should be between 15 to 25. Also, it depends on everyone’s investment strategy. The investment strategy also suggests how many stocks you should own in a portfolio.
Whether you want a concentrated portfolio of high dividend-yielding blue-chip stocks or if you are investing in small-cap stocks or put a large number of stocks to minimize the overall risk of investment. The choice is completely yours.
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