If youre like me, youve played variations of the What if...? game. What would you do if you won the lottery? (Give some money to family, pay off the mortgage and invest the rest, thanks for asking.)What job would you do if money was no object?;where in the world would you most like to live? or what car would you buy?.

Among a certain set -those of us who are a little more boring, perhaps - a more useful question is regularly asked: Which company would you most like to own?

There are some wonderful companies. But with very few (if any) exceptions, you dont want to pay just any price. So for most of us, theres a list of companies wed love to own, if we were given the (reasonablypriced) chance.

And hence, the watchlist is born. It is, as the name somewhat unimaginatively implies, a list of companies you dont own, but youre keeping an eye on. It might not seem exciting, I grant you, but stick with me.