Conventional investment wisdom says that investing in individual stocks can be a high-risk strategy. Instead, we are taught to invest in multiple stocks or stock indexes so that we have exposure to a wide variety of companies and economic sectors. However, some value investors believe that you can have a diversified portfolio even if you only own a small number of stocks, as long as you choose stocks that represent different industries and different sectors of the economy. Value investor and investment manager Christopher H. Browne recommends owning a minimum of 10 stocks in his “Little Book of Value Investing.” According to Benjamin Graham, a famous value investor, you should look at choosing 10 to 30 stocks if you want to diversify your holdings.
Another set of experts, though, say differently. If you want to get big returns, try choosing just a few stocks, according to the authors of the second edition of “Value Investing for Dummies.” They say having more stocks in your portfolio will probably lead to an average return. Of course, this advice assumes that you are great at choosing winners, which may not be the case, particularly if you are a value-investing novice.