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nadine874,

Welcome to TMF!

You wrote, Can a person have too many different stocks? What's a good number? If I were to get a $2000 bonus, should I buy more shares of stocks I already own or should buy new recommended stocks?

Personally I'd recommend adding to a good, low-cost index fund or ETF. Trying to pick the next big thing is usually a fool's errand - though I suppose it has some educational value. Picking a core asset mix and sticking to it should be the basis of most investor portfolios.

Also, BONUS QUESTION.

I have a 403b account at my main job and a TSP account from my military job. Are the contribution limits cumulative of both plans or per plan?


It's a combined limit. See: https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/how-much-salary-can-you...

There is a penalty if you exceed the elective deferral limit. Any excess must be reported as part of your income for that year, if you have not managed to get one of your employers to make a corrective distribution by April 15th. For pre-tax contributions, this results in you paying taxes both for the contribution and for the withdrawal, as the excess contribution establishes no cost basis in the account.

Note #1: This might not be a big deal if your contributions are all Roth, since those are already reported as part of your income.

Note #2: Employers are required to keep track of your contributions to plans under their control and prevent excess contributions in those plans. But once an excess contribution has made its way into the plan and you've paid the "double taxation", the contribution gets treated like any other in the plan.

- Joel
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