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Related question-- we currently own about $100K in eleven dividend stocks. Historically we just had mutual funds, but I am getting more interested in direct investing now.

I am torn-- we like the convenience of index mutual funds, and I have two young kids and a husband who gets home late. But it seems like the fund managers have to buy and sell when the investors demand it, even if it's not a good time. And when I want to take a little money out of the market, I think it might be better to sell individual stocks rather than selling $20K of whatever the fund is, because then I'm selling all of the market as opposed to $7K of stock ABC...

I'm just musing, really. How do I make the transition to stock investor from being a mutual fund investor? I don't have the time or energy to be constantly researching the minutiae on a million things-- how many stocks make a good-sized portfolio as far as diversity?

thanks
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