As a portfolio manager, one important and eternal task is the generation of sound investment ideas (unless, of course, you are a passive investor).

This process can involve many legs, from building elaborate screening models based on various historical financial and management criteria to company visits and reading and analysing volumes of financial reports. But a key component of idea generation is awareness of one’s surroundings. Sometimes the most interesting ideas can come from unexpected sources such as a throwaway line from your tech-savvy child; an article in a newspaper; or what you find in your household cupboard...

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