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How Many Stocks Make a Diversified Portfolio?

  • Statman, Meir
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    We show that a well-diversified portfolio of randomly chosen stocks must include at least 30 stocks for a borrowing investor and 40 stocks for a lending investor. This contradicts the widely accepted notion that the benefits of diversification are virtually exhausted when a portfolio contains approximately 10 stocks. We also contrast our result with the levels of diversification found in studies of individuals' portfolios.

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    File URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0022109000012680
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    Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis.

    Volume (Year): 22 (1987)
    Issue (Month): 03 (September)
    Pages: 353-363

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    Handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:22:y:1987:i:03:p:353-363_01
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Cambridge University Press, UPH, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8BS UK
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    1. Blume, Marshall E & Friend, Irwin, 1975. "The Asset Structure of Individual Portfolios and Some Implications for Utility Functions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 30(2), pages 585-603, May.
    2. Schlarbaum, Gary G & Lewellen, Wilbur G & Lease, Ronald C, 1978. "Realized Returns on Common Stock Investments: The Experience of Individual Investors," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(2), pages 299-325, April.
    3. Mayshar, Joram, 1979. "Transaction Costs in a Model of Capital Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 673-700, August.
    4. Ron Bird & Mark Tippett, 1986. "Note---Naive Diversification and Portfolio Risk---A Note," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(2), pages 244-251, February.
    5. Conine, Thomas E, Jr & Tamarkin, Maurry, J, 1981. "On Diversification Given Asymmetry in Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(5), pages 1143-55, December.
    6. John L. Evans & Stephen H. Archer, 1968. "Diversification And The Reduction Of Dispersion: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 23(5), pages 761-767, December.
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