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How Many Stocks Make a Diversified Portfolio?

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  • Statman, Meir

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Statman, Meir, 1987. "How Many Stocks Make a Diversified Portfolio?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(03), pages 353-363, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:22:y:1987:i:03:p:353-363_01
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    1. 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.
    2. Ron Bird & Mark Tippett, 1986. "Note---Naive Diversification and Portfolio Risk---A Note," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(2), pages 244-251, February.
    3. 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.
    4. Conine, Thomas E, Jr & Tamarkin, Maurry, J, 1981. "On Diversification Given Asymmetry in Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(5), pages 1143-1155, December.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
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