On MIM Wealth:


Q: I haven’t heard much about MIM Wealth, is it a new firm?


A: We’ve been in business since 1998 when I left a national firm and founded Mikalachki Investment Management in London. I was so appreciative of those founding clients that I had more interest in delivering strong performance than promoting my new firm. Having now established that competency, I have rebranded to MIM WEALTH and opened our website to make more people aware of our differentiated service. We are pleased to report that all founding clients remain clients of the firm, with the exception of some funerals attended with regret. Of course 100% of my personal and family investments completely mirror client assets.


Q: You mentioned a differentiated service, how so?


A: First I would say that a London based discretionary portfolio management firm is relatively uncommon. Our investment discipline is based on primary research, meaning that we do all of our own research rather than passing judgement on research reports written by sell-side analysts.

From there I believe it to be increasingly rare that the client interacts directly with me, the portfolio manager.  I make all the individual stock and bond selections in your portfolio and I interact with you directly. The more common experience seems to increasingly focus on the investment advisor as an intermediary between the client and portfolio manager. We believe there is value in interacting directly with the client.

Finally, I believe our performance fee option, with no base fee, is completely unique.


Q: Can we touch on that performance fee option, is that new, a gimmick, is there a catch?


A: Great question. It is not new, I have offered this option since I founded the firm, to the  satisfaction of many clients. It is outlined in more detail elsewhere on the site, but there is no catch. If your portfolio has a positive return at year end, 15% of that return is the management fee. A 10% return would thus warrant a 1.5% fee. If the portfolio has not appreciated there is no fee.

There is also a high water mark so you would never pay a fee for simply recouping losses from a down year. For instance, no clients paid a performance fee in 2008 and very few paid a small fee in 2009, as for the most part, we just recouped the past loss from 2008. Starting in 2010, portfolios have been appreciating to new highs annually with the accordant performance fees.

It is an offering that is uniquely client friendly but it also suits my personality. I would feel worse about delivering poor performance than I would about not receiving a fee.


Q: In regard to investment discipline, would you call yourself a contrarian?


A: No, not my favourite moniker. A knee-jerk contrarian is still controlled by the crowd, they simply are bent to do the opposite. We prefer independent thought. We do all our own research. If that process lands us with a variant perspective then we are comfortable investing accordingly. While confident in our process, we also believe any investment discipline should be pursued with humility.


Q: How can someone best determine which investment professional they should entrust with their nest egg?


A: For many of you, this is the million dollar question, and often thought to be unanswerable. Yet in Canada, we have an RRSP savings system. Virtually every investment professional has an RRSP which is a clear, definitive score card of an individual’s ability to save and invest capital over a very long period of time. You can’t inherit an RRSP, there are no do-overs, and capital inflow is regulated. I would encourage much more emphasis of this barometer in the judgement of investment professionals.

    Investment advisors should make their RRSP statements available to prospective clients.

See Q&A on Investing