Invest Like It’s 1986: Investment Planning for Contrarians Means Taking the Alternate Route
How much of what you do today is similar to what you did in the mid-1980s? Are you embracing the same fashion trends or hairstyle? Is your car from that era and are you watching Cheers and Knight Rider for entertainment? We might be holding on to only a fraction of what we held dear in the mid-80s, but there is one thing that hasn’t changed – a savvy approach to investment planning.
Go ahead and invest like it’s 1986. Why? Because the tried and true, classic investment principles from 1986 still apply. This is true of the contrarian approach to investment planning. The contrarian approach takes a different path than what is expected – it’s going against the grain and not following the crowd. Going against market trends to focus on shares and sectors is really what it’s all about, and it’s something that worked all the way back when Top Gun was the biggest hit of the summer.
At Lawson Kroeker, we published a newsletter in the 80s that discussed the contrarian approach. We quoted James Fraser, the founder and president of Fraser Management, who said a contrarian is one who “is early though he is not a forecaster and rather works toward thought-out conclusions. We have to think through a given problem before we gain a fresh and different approach to a solution.”
So, how does investment planning that focuses on the contrarian approach work? Contrarian investors take a long-term view for picking stocks. They will make choices that go against the crowd as they buy into under-appreciated assets and sectors because they believe following the crowd isn’t always a good idea.
For example, when the market is volatile, the crowd usually begins steering away from “risky” investments and heads toward calmer waters, like bonds. The contrarian response is – “hey, you’re missing out on some opportunities that could be highly valuable.” Think about all the people who jumped on the bandwagon during booms, only to feel the crushing defeat when the bust occurred.
Contrarian investing may not be for everyone, but the principles seem to stand the test of time and rise above come-and-go investing trends. When a professional advisor is helping you guide your course and remain focused on the long-term, this style of investing can bring its own unique level of confidence and success.
At Lawson Kroeker, we aren’t afraid to be “delightfully contrarian,” and we invite you to sit down at our table and find out what this approach could mean to you and your goals.
Invest Like It’s 1986: Investment Advice Still Holds True
It was the year Mike Tyson became the youngest heavyweight boxing champion, and “Out of Africa” won best picture, Halley’s Comet made an appearance, and the average cost of a new house was less than $90,000. Yes, we’re talking about 1986. Things have changed since then. But, when it comes to investment advice, can you still plan like it’s 1986?
Many of the tried and true, classic investment principles our company was founded upon in the 1980s still apply today. This includes consistency, diversity and planning without letting emotions be the guiding force. In fact, these principles may be even more important today.
Technology has certainly evolved over the last 32 years, and we have more tools available to us to assist our clients with investing success. Even in this advanced age, Wall Street’s short-term gains and losses will not sway a disciplined investor from their strategy. (Nor our team from taking time to really think about our next steps and about what makes sense.)
Diversification was important in 1986, and that hasn’t changed either. It is a basic fundamental of prudent investing, and it means more than just jumping into a wide variety of securities. Diversification involves spreading risk among asset classes, as well as diversifying within each of those classes.
Another element that’s stayed the same is our location. We’re still proud to be working and serving clients in Omaha, just as we were in the 1980s. Being a smaller, focused team in the middle of it all is still exactly where we want to be.
Lawson Kroeker has a bit of a sentimental attachment to the year 1986 because that’s when our firm was founded. We’re also attached to strong investment strategies that we followed back then because they’re still suited for today’s environment. Contact us today and let’s move forward on a long-term plan that gives you a new level of confidence about your future.
Meet Ken Kroeker, Co-Founder of Lawson Kroeker
Quote Collections, Permanence and a “Contrarian” Vision
“When we look at a stock, we really are in it for the long-term. Everybody says they’re long term but they aren’t. We say we are, and we are. There are some stocks I’ve owned for 20 years. When you look for an idea to invest your time and energy in, you want something that can last indefinitely … and that’s what we offer.” – Ken Kroeker, Co-Founder, Lawson Kroeker Investment Management
Today, take a moment to learn more about Ken Kroeker, co-founder of Lawson Kroeker Investment Management. What you’ll read is an interesting and inspiring reflection of the very fabric of the company itself.
Mr. Ken Kroeker carries around several little scraps of paper, jotting down quotes and bits of inspiration from everywhere. He can share lists of facts about his favorite U.S. presidents – having read many presidential biographies – and he thinks Arizona’s climate is just about perfect when winter hits his Omaha, NE, home.
Reflecting on the company’s journey, now 30-plus years in the making, Mr. Kroeker explains what he says sets the team apart. “When we look at a stock, we really are in it for the long-term. Everybody says they’re long term but they aren’t,” he says. “We say we are, and we are. There are some stocks I’ve owned for 20 years. When you look for an idea to invest your time and energy in, you want something that can last indefinitely … and that’s what we offer.”
This foundation of longevity isn’t a trend or an emerging idea. Mr. Kroeker explains that’s the philosophy that’s been in place since the company was founded in the 1980s. “When we started, we said it would be a permanent firm. Frank Lawson and I owned stock in the company and we‘ve sold that to Tom Sudyka and Bruce Van Kooten, both of whom had a strong history with Lawson Kroeker. And they’ve selected a few to sell it to as they move it forward, and it keeps going like that – instead of selling out the business to another investor or merging to another firm.”
There’s no doubt that the staying power of the company inspires Mr. Kroeker – but he says he’s also inspired by the daily change that happens in the industry and the world. “There’s constant change and new developments across our industry. Coming into the office and looking for that next new idea that I hadn’t heard of before is what I enjoy every day,” he says.
Like many members of the Lawson Kroeker team, Ken has spent time working for large-scale or national firms, but he truly enjoys a different approach. “When I was with a big organization I seldom saw the clients. Now I see a lot of them. And because I understand what I’m doing and what they’re doing, there’s a good chance of having satisfied clients, lots of them. This is what makes the business successful and fun.”
Those who know Mr. Kroeker know he enjoys collecting and sharing quotes from authors, historians, political figures, economists and many other interesting sources. In fact, a one-of-a-kind resource found at the Lawson Kroeker office is Ken’s quote folder – containing 345 separate pages with one handwritten quote per page.
As an avid reader, a list of titles Mr. Kroeker recommends includes The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham and Jason Zweig, first published in 1959. “It’s got advice on the stock market and how to treat it,” says Kroeker. He also suggests The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder. Browsing Mr. Kroeker’s bookshelf would also reveal several history titles, especially about past presidents Ronald Reagan and Harry S. Truman. (Whom Mr. Kroeker says is “much more interesting than I would have first thought.”)
Like the titles and quotes Mr. Kroeker enjoys pondering, there’s an element of steadfastness that surrounds him and his work. “We always told our clients and prospects that we planned on this being a permanent firm and others would come after us. They can count on the firm being around and consistent and staying the same,” he says. “We keep it this way to preserve the philosophy, the approach and the culture.” If you want to know more about Lawson Kroeker and the services we offer contact us today.
Get to Know Edie Basch Our Client Services Administrator/Operations
Connecting Lawson Kroeker Clients With Investment Resources
Years in the Investment/Finance Industry: 30 plus
First Car: 1969 Ford Falcon Futura Sports Coupe
What happens when a team member with a background including psychology, writing and even medical/legal death investigation comes to the table at Lawson Kroeker? The answer is that clients receive diligent research and every resource they need to move forward with assistance from Edie Basch, Client Services Administrator/Operations.
Edie relocated to Omaha to be closer to family. She’s actually the first employee at Lawson Kroeker. Beginning in 1986, she worked for founding partners Frank Lawson and Ken Kroeker before the office was even officially opened. She ensures that clients receive the resources they need for account support.
While Edie has been dedicated in her role as Client Services Administrator, she’s always entertained writing as a career.
When Edie’s not taking care of client needs at Lawson Kroeker, she’s likely to be engrossed in a good book or an episode of “Ancient Aliens.” Her ideal vacation spot for more lengthy R&R would be Kalihiwai, Kauai, because she loves tropical vegetation and the beach.
We’re proud of our employees’ commitment to our company, and we look forward to getting to know you and helping you navigate your financial planning decisions. Stop in at Lawson Kroeker soon to get to know Edie in person and the rest of our team.