Brant Kasbohm: Al Czervik and Investing 101

(Brant Kasbohm is a licensed PGA Professional and Director of Instruction at FixYourGame.com.  Kasbohm is also a special correspondent to CD.com, offering commentary and views straight from the eyes of a teaching Pro.) Photo from BombSquadGolf.com

Al Czervik is no fool. He’s made enough money to hang out at Bushwood all day, so he’s doing something right. Like anyone who grew up around the game, I’ve watched Caddyshack a few hundred times. And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized how smart Al Czervik is. Here are a couple examples:

"Hello. It's my broker. What? Then buy, buy, buy! Oh, everyone's buying? Then sell, sell, sell!"—Don’t be a lemming. Don’t follow the herd. It’s no secret that to make money you have to buy low and sell high. But it’s also no secret that most people that follow the crowds do exactly the opposite. Be a contrarian—when everyone is running for the exit, that’s the time to get in. The herd is usually wrong and usually late.

“I tell you, golf courses and cemeteries are the biggest wastes of prime real estate.”—I’d love to get Al’s comments on the current real estate situation and on the housing crash of the past few years. Millions of people who own houses and especially those who own golf course property have been hammered. I can’t comment on cemetery property, but have to assume that Al is right on this one. But Czervik was a big condo developer, and condos lost a ton of value over the past few years. But he seemed to be diversified internationally. (See below)

“We just bought property behind the Great Wall. On the good side!”—Investing in emerging markets. Very smart move by Mr. Czervik. Go where the growth is. Not only do you diversify your asset base, but you can also take advantage of new and undeveloped markets.

“I’ll tell you what’s really satisfying, cash!”—Another smart idea; have cash available to take advantage when opportunities arise. And be sure that a majority of your investments are liquid enough that they can be easily converted into cash when needed—another downside of direct real estate investing. Al doesn’t make the following point directly, but I’m sure he would have, given the opportunity. Your investment isn’t a success of a failure until you have sold it and have cash in hand. Too many people get caught up in what their account balance is, or what their house is assessed at, but something is only worth the amount that someone is willing to pay for it.

“How about teams for $20,000? I’ll take Ty.”—Have a backup plan, an ace in the hole. Al knows he can’t beat Judge Smails straight up, so he calls in a ringer. Surround yourself with quality people and have their strengths offset your weaknesses—brilliant. This is the essence of great management.

“Moose, Rocco, help the Judge find his checkbook”—Demand results, and don’t be afraid to cut your losses and move on if the results are not up to par. Do your homework, and if the opportunity sounds too god to be true (like playing Judge Smails, and Dr. Beeper for $20k), it probably is.

“Albert Einstein gave me this. Nice man, nice man. Made a fortune in physics.”—Don’t be afraid to use the latest technology to your advantage, and to invest in the latest technology. But be careful, if you don’t understand the nature of the business you’re investing in, you could be in for a big haircut.

As you can clearly see, Al Czervik is a genius. He’s much smarter than the majority of fund managers, investment advisors, and talking heads. His (not so subtle) advice in Caddyshack can help you make millions and afford you the same lifestyle that he lives.

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