How many funds should I hold?

Fri 15 Sep 2017

By Brian Dennehy

Access Level | public

Portfolio building



Our short answer is: 15 maximum

The longer answer is that it depends. 

This is a good guide for a maximum if you have a portfolio of funds spread across asset classes – something like our Age Guide Portfolio.  But with a different approach you could get away with as few as 3 funds.  

Just be clear that if your portfolio is 20+ an overhaul is definitely in order: you will be struggling to keep track of them all.


The main benefit of holding funds is diversification.  Imagine you had a discretionary portfolio (through a stock broker or bank) full of individual shares and bonds, rather than funds.  You would probably have around 30 holdings, maximum (although we have seen portfolios with more). 

In contrast, each individual fund in your portfolio will usually hold between 50-100 individual investments.  Even if you held just 3 funds (easy to monitor), the number of underlying shares is probably 150-300 – that’s a lot of diversification.

Why not just 3 funds?

Why not indeed.

A significant proportion of our users focus largely on the UK stock market.  In such a situation, there is absolutely no point in having 15 funds or anything close.

If you focus solely on stock markets, but also like an oversea exposure, this could stretch to 6 funds.  Don’t make it more complicated than need be.

More to come on these choices in coming months.  Keep your eyes open.

What about a minimum amount per fund?

Let’s look at this another way.  If you have a portfolio of £100,000, I would strongly recommend your minimum fund size is 5% of your portfolio, in this case £5,000.  A holding any smaller is simply not going to have a significant impact on your overall portfolio.

Keep your questions coming on this.  Get in touch here.


  • There is no magic number of funds to hold in a portfolio...
  • ...but 15 is enough to diversify across sectors...without becoming unwieldy.
  • Log in to My Account now to check your holdings.
  • Register here to set up an account and be kept in the loop...
  • ...and don't forget to try our Rate My Funds



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