There had to be a better way
We, Vincent van Doorn, Gerwin de Groot and Celine Herault, three equal partners, founded i-Cthru in 2013. Today, we are a team working with a select number of like-minded clients around the world.
When the recession hit in 2008, two of us, Vincent and Celine, were on the front line, working for a top-tier bank in New York City. After quitting our respective jobs and leaving our careers behind, we talked to friends and family, as well as friends of friends and almost all of them told an eerily similar story: at some point, they'd come across a wealth adviser who had not done his/her due diligence and "gambled" their savings away. Most of them hardly understood any of the investments they owned, let alone the fees they were being charged.
Throughout our banking and asset management careers, clients’ interests had always seemed to come second to our employer's and was often in direct conflict with our values. We agreed that there had to be a better way of helping individuals navigate their financial journey and manage their hard-earned assets.
Did you realize that when you loose 50% of your assets, you will need to regain 100%, just to be back where you were? Capital destruction often ends up being permanent. This is why, from the start, it was obvious that capital preservation had to be the cornerstone of our wealth management strategies.
Did you know that investors are much more likely to sell on a rainy day than on a sunny one? Similarly, have you noticed how tempting it is to follow someone's investment recommendation simply because the price is trending upwards? These are called behavioral and cognitive biases and can have a disastrous impact on your investments. With this is mind, we decided to program a smart investment algorithm which would do away with biases and looked for a highly accomplished programmer who shared their vision, to join the journey. Very quickly, Gerwin jumped on board and embraced our vision. The origin of our quantitative investment model stands on the shoulders of many great investors/ thinkers, the likes of Ben Graham, Daniel Kahneman, Warren Buffet, Charlie Munger, Nassim Taleb, and George Soros, and is grounded in fundamental data analysis.
We also decided that our wholesome vision of wealth management would have to be transparent, without hidden fees and that our clients should be the only ones with full access to their funds. We chose to work with Interactive Brokers, the world's largest online broker, as our only broker, where all of our clients hold their own accounts and merely grant us trading rights.
Our adventure started over 7 years ago and we have never regretted it. Most of our clients act as true ambassadors and refer us to their friends and families. It is possible to do right by our clients, staying at the forefront of evidence-based investing, and remain true to our values. This, we believe, is what wealth management should be!