Friday, August 13, 1999

Beating the S&P Guy!

By Dawnc

Recently, my 10-year-old son chose his first stock all by himself. I tried to throw out ideas that I thought he might like: Mattel, Disney, etc., but he wanted to own Speedo. We've had several talks on what a stock is. He understands that it is a small piece of the company. He wanted Speedo!

I took him out on the Web and showed him that Speedo was part of Authentic Fitness (NYSE: ASM). He didn't care. He wanted Speedo! After much discussion around the dinner table, we decided that this would be a learning experience. ASM wasn't moving much. He probably wouldn't make much money, but it was his choice so ASM it was.

The next day, we sat down in front of the computer. I explained the process of buying a stock. Told him he had to pay a commission for it. To that, he replied, "What a rip-off!" But he still wanted it. After a couple of clicks, he was the proud owner of 100 shares. We switched over to the Fool site and I set up a portfolio for him. I told him it was there and that if he wanted to see how he was doing to just come ask.

A couple of days later, he asked. I pulled up his portfolio and he had made money! He was so excited. He was up just over 2%! Then he noticed the S&P comparison and asked about it. I carefully tried to explain that the S&P was made up of hundreds of companies. Our goal with ASM was to beat the S&P. His eyes lit up! Suddenly he saw the S&P as the competition. Now this was personal. I should have seen what was coming next...

"Hey! I'm beating the S&P guy!"

[Have your teens check out our Young Fools area. And parents, click here to learn how to invest for your kids.]

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