Investors often wonder how many funds they need to reduce risk through diversification. The answer isn’t a specific number of funds, but rather the holdings of each fund. If multiple funds in a portfolio have similar holdings, an investor can fail to achieve diversification benefits. Portfolio A and Portfolio Z in the image contain five mutual funds. Each oval represents the ownership zone, which accounts for 75% of the fund’s holdings. The funds in Portfolio A overlap, indicating that each fund shares similar style characteristics. Too much overlap defeats the purpose of using multiple funds to create a diversified portfolio. Portfolio Z spans across many styles, so positive performance by some investments can neutralize the negative effect of others. As illustrated, it is important to be aware of the possibility of security overlap when constructing a diversified portfolio.