When my three small children ask me what is I do for a living it is not a simple explanation to make to young minds. This situation is especially problematic for my oldest son who has his ear bent regularly by his best friend about his Dad’s engineering prowess. He wants to say I do something equally impressive as making prosthetic limbs.

Unfortunately, I can’t match that. Although I could tell him quite a bit about the US private equity firm that bought the French company in question and forced his best friend’s father to work longer hours and speak English.

So in the end, realising using words and phrases like ‘accounting’, cash flow’ and ‘price ratios’ could push them to put themselves up for adoption by a bunch of medical engineers, I asked them to give me a list of a few of their favourite things.

1. Coca Cola
2. Kentucky Fried Chicken (“for the taste”)
3. McDonalds (“for the games”)
4. Nintendo
5. Barbecue chips
6. Puzzles
7. Airfix models
8. Children’s books
9. Outboard electric motors (this the influence of recent holiday activity)
10. Small outboard powered boats (ditto)
11. Bowling

Notwithstanding the heresy in France of item 2 a few conversations later this led to construction of a broadly equal weighted portfolio on 1 August of the firms that make these goods.

Encouraging performance at the time of writing (though the tracking site is not yet handling the fx correctly thus hopelessly confusing the portfolio value and return data) and their interest is piqued. A bit.

Fortunately, the word ‘benchmark’ is still unfamiliar to the children so they are not yet asking for family league tables.

A live portfolio tracker of their picks is in the sidebar.

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