A Local Couple is Taking Risks in Eagle
by Kathy Jo Lynne, photos by Jim Peterson
Ken and Trish Trader like to watch things grow. More than that, they like to embrace an idea, plant the seed, nourish it, cultivate it, and then, let it flourish. Fittingly, these two highly successful business professionals have chosen Eagle, Idaho as their fertile ground. Why Eagle? Ken, who has been in the technology arena for 35 years and is currently in Solution Sales with Cisco Systems, sees Eagle and the surrounding Treasure Valley as ripe for high yield growth in business in general and technology in particular. Trish, a financial professional, wholeheartedly agrees.
In fact, it was Trish who introduced Ken to their latest business venture as investors with Keiretsu Forum, the world’s largest angel investor network. Founded in 2000, Keiretsu Forum is the world’s largest angel investor network with over 2,500 accredited investor members throughout 46 chapters on three continents. Keiretsu Forum Members collaborate in the due diligence of presenting companies, but make individual investment decisions with $500m invested in over 700 companies to date ($230+M in the Northwest). The Forum has provided Ken and Trish with an altogether different opportunity for their retirement investments. Ken remarked, “in technology, you are always exposed to start-ups. It can move very fast, and someone spins off, and then is gobbled up by someone else.” Investing through Keiretsu Forum allows individuals to invest in start-up companies. Trish serves on a committee screening companies to help determine their eligibility and explains that these companies have been vetted and due diligence is done; however, this type of investing is still very risky.
When asked, “What would you say to someone interested in this type of investment?” Ken responded, “They must be prepared to lose everything they have invested.” In other words, “I wouldn’t take out a second mortgage or tap out a retirement plan.” Trish concurred, “If you can’t afford to lose it – don’t make that bet.” That said, the Traders have recently made their first company investment.
So, why take the risk? Trish stated, “He (Ken) really understands this area that his investment company is in.” This investment seems a natural fit for the Traders. As investors and advisors, they are using their years of business experience along with their “hands on” approach to help cultivate the growth of this start-up company. With a glint in his eyes, Ken said, ”so, to me, that’s the exciting part. It’s to be part of something that is starting out as an idea and a concept and to help to build it into something that becomes real and tangible and makes a difference.”
The Traders are equally as passionate about their personal interests. Although leisure time can be hard to find, Ken enjoys working in his garage on his kit car project or creating music on the guitar or his electronic drum set. Trish enjoys organic gardening in her raised beds, oil painting, and cooking to entertain friends.
Trish is also busy with the planning committee for the Veterans’ Day Parade. The couple met in the Air Force while stationed in Germany, so this mission is dear to her heart. Their thirty-two year marriage has led to many adventures living in states from the east to the west coast. Now that they have settled in Eagle, the Traders often travel to the Bay area to visit their daughter and son-in-law or enjoy spending an evening at the Sapphire Room in Boise taking in the local music scene. Most of all, however, they seem to enjoy relaxing on their patio, savoring the changing hues of the Virginia Creeper and the picturesque views of pastoral Idaho in their own backyard.