When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

27 March 2007

Announcement: The White Trash and Minor Vices Portfolio

Everyone says "invest in what you know."

I'm about to put my money where my big mouth is. Carrie and I invest, mostly in index funds and ETFs, every month through Sharebuilder, which allows fractional purchases of shares in stocks and funds for a flat monthly fee.

The vast majority of our modest monthly stake goes into a total-market index fund and an aggregated bond fund.

But I'm going to make a modest investment in a stock portfolio -- a mini-fund of my own making, if you will -- called "White Trash and Minor Vices" (motto: don't beat your wife, beat the Dow) the constituent stocks of which are:
  • BFB - Brown-Forman Corp. Cl B

    Holding company for distilleries that produce Jack Daniel's, Early Times, Canadian Mist, Southern Comfort, Finlandia, and others. Recently acquired a major stake in a Mexican tequila manufacturer.

  • BUD - Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc.

    Brewer of cheap domestic beer; owner of theme parks.

  • CHB - Champion Enterprises Inc.

    Major manufacturer of mobile homes and modular buildings.

  • F - Ford Motor Co. and GM - General Motors Corp.

    Contrarian picks to be sure, but here's the key: GM's share of U.S. pickup truck sales is 38.2%. Chrysler has 16.4% of the market. FordMotor Co. has 36.5%.

    GM is in talks to acquire Chrysler. Enough said.

  • IGT - International Game Technology

    Designers and manufacturers of the most sophisticated video gaming machines (slot machines, video poker) on the market; they own the supply lines for low-end gambling.

  • KO - Coca-Cola Co.

    Fizzy, flavored, caffeinated water.

  • MCD - McDonald's Corp.

    Supersize me. I'm lovin' it.

  • MO - Altria Group Inc.

    Holding company for Philip Morris USA and Kraft Foods, among others. Marlboros and Velveeta, baby. Spinning off Kraft on 30 March 2007.

  • WMT - Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

    One-stop shopping for lower-middle America.
I've built a portfolio to track these stocks, and will report back periodically on their performance.

(Possibly coming soon: a "Freaks and Geeks" portfolio, including Apple, Google and Starbucks.)

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