In my career before Invisor, I worked in a bank branch selling mutual funds to clients. Those funds would typically charge around 2%. What that meant was that on average, those funds underperformed the market by 2%. But at the time the market was doing well, and we were a reputable brand so nobody seemed to mind the cost.
Then I moved into a part of the company where we managed money directly for institutional clients. As opposed to my previous clients, the institutional clients paid a lot more attention to costs. Whether it was the management costs or the trading costs associated with their portfolios, these clients understood that every fraction of a percentage point that is lost has a much larger impact on their portfolio in the long run.
It's a point we all understood: save yourself 1% today, and it could mean 20-30% more in your portfolio down the road. But it wasn't being practiced for the average Canadian buying a mutual fund at the branch. Granted, it's more expensive to sell a mutual fund a million different times than one fund to one institutional investor, but the inefficiencies in doing so meant the average Canadian was probably losing 20-30% of their portfolio. Not much I could do about it, but I made sure I minimized whatever fees there were on my own investments.
Pramod and I had worked together at the time, but had not really talked about this idea before. Then he announced he was leaving and starting his own firm, so I took him out for a beer to wish him well and learn about what he was doing. When he told me about his idea for Invisor, it all really clicked for me. I was interested right away; this was a way to help people invest and do so at a fraction of what they were paying now, and in turn, get that 20-30% back. He and Dan were still at the early stages, but I told him to keep me in mind when the time was right. A couple months later, the time was right, and I made the move over to join them and work on building a better option for Canadians.