Rule #4 – Diversify, diversify, and diversify
Reminder: Always diversify your portfolio into at least 10 different stocks. It doesn’t matter if you are starting with $10,000 or $100,000–you’ll have more success if you think big and proceed as though you were a major-league investor. Diversification is important because while one sector of the economy might be falling 10%, rarely does the whole market sell off 10% in the same time period. So, with a properly diversified portfolio, you may get stopped out on one or two stocks, but hopefully you will have gains in others.
Some of the great investors and portfolio managers over the last 30 years (Peter Lynch, Warren Buffet) talk about having the “ten-bagger” in their portfolio. Sure, it’s nice to pick a stock that gains 10 or 20 percent a year, but what really drives a portfolio higher is a stock or two that tenfolds, or earns a 1,000% return. Over the years, Apple Computer ( APPL), The Gap ( GPS),Coca-Cola ( KO), are some of the few that fall into this category.