My Son "Owns" McDonald's [Fribble] April 11, 2000

Fribble My Son "Owns" McDonald's

April 11, 2000

Bill Worth's April 3 Fribble -- "A Fool Is Born?" -- made me smile and recall my own son's (9 years old today) experience with owning stocks.

When Nicholas was just 4, I decided it was time for his "birthday monies" to do more than just sit in a savings account. I looked for a Drip stock for him. In researching companies, I came across the advice to "purchase what you use." There was even a suggested "toddler" portfolio: Disney, Kimberly-Clark, Tyco, Coke, McDonald's, etc.

I ran down the list of companies with my son since, as it was his money, he should have a say in which company we would invest. When I explained the idea of purchasing stocks, and that he would become a part-owner of that company, he became excited. He picked McDonald's. And so we began -- each month adding to the Drip program, with my explaining to him the monthly statements. Excitement grew when his stock shares split, and he became the proud owner of 50.25 shares of McDonald's.

Where to lunch was always an easy decision. "MY" restaurant, of course!

In one of our lunches, a chicken McNugget happy meal was ordered, along with the usual request for two BBQ sauce containers.

"The first sauce is free, but the second will cost you 25 cents," said the server.

"But why?" asked my son. "It's always been free!"

"That's the new rule," was the reply.

Looks of disappointment and confusion spread over my son's face.

"I think that's wrong!" blurted my 4-year-old son. "And besides -- do you know that I am THE OWNER of McDonald's?"

We still had to pay the extra 25 cents... but we still kept those McDonald's stocks.

Side note: Nicholas' stock picks over the years have been quite spectacular -- News Corp. for Fox TV (the best shows on television today), Qualcomm (mom and dad's phones), Nokia ("N" for Nicholas + "OK" for a good sign), Pepsi (favorite drink and snacks), and, of course, McDonald's (the best fries).

His portfolio is currently up 78%! Not bad for a 9-year-old Fool!