Stock exchange beginner

Hi all :hugs:

I am just starting my journey with investing. I was would like to invest in US individual stocks and maybe a few ETFs.
I was wondering what is the optimal no. of different companies you would advise me to invest in? :sweat_smile:

Would be really amazing to get your insights!

Depends what you are wanting to do, e.g. are you focussing on dividends or interested in a specific sector? I’ve been investing 6 months and I’m currently at 23 different investments, the impression I have is that around 30 is the average number but varies.

There was a really useful thread where we all posted our portfolios, will give you an idea of how many individual investments people have and what they are investing in but obviously do your own research. The thread is here: What’s your allocation?

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I’ve been investing since beginning February so shorter than Emmie, and I started knowing very little of what I was doing, I just felt I had waited long enough and that it was time to do something rather than nothing. What I probably did then was to buy too many stocks and not enough ETFs for balance, that is something I am correcting now.

If you want to invest in US stocks, the easiest way to do that (and to avoid the foreign exchange FX fee) would be to buy shares in the S&P 500 (GSPX) iShares ETF since this obviously includes all 500 holdings within that index. There are other S&P index trackers available but I like iShares because it sets out the information about each ETF and its holdings very well on its website. If you are not really sure what you are doing, buying S&P 500 at regular intervals over a period of time is what none other than the God of investing himself, Warren Buffet, advises.

Otherwise, it depends very much on what you want to do as Emmie said. As a beginner, I’ve been focussing on dividends because they are obvious and measurable (e.g. British American Tobacco will give you a quarterly dividend of 54p, so find the % return on investment that is by multiplying it by 4 - 216p and then seeing what % that is of its current share price - currently about 6.7%). I can’t advise you of US stocks because I’m buying UK stocks, in large part to avoid the FX fee but also because I live in the UK and therefore feel I know the companies here which is not the case for companies outside the UK. As I acquire more knowledge, I’m also buying some lower dividend stocks that I’m viewing in terms of growth and also some newer companies that I’m putting only a very limited amount of money into but my focus will remain primarily with dividend stocks.


Just my 2 cents I don’t think you should go above say max 10-15 separate holdings
Any more than that, and it becomes too difficult to keep up with all the developments/news etc for any of them


New to investing also have about 30 spread around different sectors, some US, largely UK, some dividend to hold on to, some non dividend so can sell when riding. Not saying is best model but allows me to weather any falls and spot opportunities. When become more experienced will probably reduce number of holdings.

You could just buy a broad ETF and have zero hassle with maintaining 30 stocks and very likely a better performance over the long term as well.


More importantly, what is your strategy? How much are you trying to build up into each stock? Will you set a percentage increase to trim a stock if it increases over a set amount? Will you purchase more if it falls below a set amount? Will you have an exit strategy to a stock?

Will you stick with your individual investments for 15+ years? Rebalancing once or twice per year?

The only way to half-ass invest into individual stocks is if you already have a solid core position which you are happy with.

Build up one investment at a time, OR, deploy your entire portfolio at once and simply stick with it through thick & thin, rebalancing when necessary.


Gradually selling as make gains and reinvesting in my core investments. Not half ass but strategy in mind. If it works.

I always think if you have too many individual stocks, you may as well just buy a tracker and be done with it.
10-12 max for me.

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Ok, hear you. Thanks.

Thanks. Any ETFs tracking the green economy?

Kind regards

£RENG and £INRG.
But they only include around 60 companies with large exposure to the biggest values, so I personally wouldn’t find that to be adequate diversification.

I’m new to investing and I’m playing safe.
Over 60% in ETF’s and most of the rest in blue chip stocks.
When I’m more experienced I might take a few more risks.


Also a newbie. However, I think that it would be very easy to invest in too many stocks or etf’s at the start.
Researching individual companies and etf’s should be your first steps so you understand what you are buying into.
Unless you are willing to poentially sacrifice a percentage of your money, then be patient and start small.

If i were to start all over again, I would plow all my money into Apple, Google, Amazon, CocaCola, 3M
but then again hindsight is a wonderful thing :innocent:
with the £/$ exchange rate as it is now, and the US market being :poop: is it a good time to throw $$$ over the pond :man_shrugging: