Intro: Who is Lycos Asset Management?

Money, debt management, spending habits, and savings goals are often some of the most challenging topics for friends, family members, and financial professionals.

After all, financial matters are inherently personal. Without a good relationship with an investment advisor, creating long-term plans for your personal finances can be an intimidating process.

Choosing a financial advisory firm to provide sound advice and expert strategies is crucial—and this is exactly what Canadian investors can benefit from when partnering with Lycos Asset Management.

Backed by a highly qualified team of advisors, Lycos Asset Management Inc. is a fee-only independent investment advisory and portfolio management firm located in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Led by president and CEO Constantine Lycos, the firm is registered to provide financial advisory and management services in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Yukon.

According to an interview in Finance Monthly, customized portfolios through Lycos are meant to serve the unique needs of high net worth families, family offices, and small institutions. The publication reports that their average client holds a minimum investment portfolio of $500,000.

Founded in 2008, the team at Lycos Asset Management has over six decades of combined experience to offer their clients, including a range of professional work, certifications, and graduate degrees in financial advisory and investment services.

Lycos Asset Management Inc. ReviewImage Source: Lycos Asset Management

Investment Philosophy & Custodians

The investment philosophy at Lycos Asset Management contains two related concepts—acting on a “best interests” basis for clients, and employing disciplined value investing.

First, their client-centric focus means that advisors do not simply recommend suitable investments—instead, they act in the best interests of their clients to achieve their specific financial goals.

Second, all investments at Lycos Asset Management operate under disciplined value investing, a philosophy that aims to break the cycle of impulsive purchasing and selling based on performance.

This investing philosophy capitalizes on long-term growth potential by buying good investments while they are under-valued and under-appreciated. As stated in their LinkedIn profile,

It also solves one of the biggest problems for most investors, institutions, family offices and individuals alike, that of an under-achieving portfolio due to the natural human per-disposition to buying into investments (asset classes such as stock or real estate, individual investments such as particular stocks or even investment managers) after they have performed well and selling them after they have performed poorly or lost money.

This investment philosophy is best-suited for clients that have an under-performing portfolio, or for those that simply do not have the time to monitor and manage their investments.

Investment Holdings

All investments made with Lycos Asset Management are held through third-party custodians.

This means that each account is held in your name at a bank or major broker, while LAM buys and sells securities for you on a discretionary basis.

Clients receive statements of account directly through the third-party custodian, including statements of interest.

According to Portfolio Manager Adrian Mastracci, all managed portfolios are held by National Bank Correspondent Network, a subsidiary of the National Bank.

Areas of Expertise

According to the firm’s LinkedIn page, the full range of Lycos Asset Management’s specialties include:

  • Value Investing
  • Stock Picking
  • Investment Management
  • Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP)
  • Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA)
  • Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIF)

Client-Centered Focus

The foundation of Lycos Asset Management lies in their emphasis on the client-advisor relationship.

Rather than take on hundreds—or thousands—of clients, Lycos Asset Management prefers to keep a selective approach. This allows them to not only develop stronger client-advisor relationships, but also provides ample time for in-depth portfolio monitoring. 

As founder Constantine Lycos explains in Finance Monthly,

We work with a small number of clients that we get to know very well, because we want to spend time with people to make sure we construct a portfolio that fits their needs…This is why we restrict the number of families and institutions we work with—so we’re able to deliver a high level of service.

As such, clients can rest assured that they will be able to reach their advisor directly, instead of being transferred to a generic relationship manager or another representative.

Clients can even feel free to take advantage of what Lycos calls their “open-door policy”, saying:

We don’t stop working when it’s 4pm. Clients can reach us by phone or email pretty much at any time and we get back to them fairly quickly.

This dedication has paid off. According to Finance Monthly, many of the firm’s clients have become good friends over the years, and most new clients come as referrals from existing clients, attesting to their unique ability to create rewarding personal relationships.

While it’s unclear as to how many clients Lycos Asset Management has—or even what their assets under management are—it’s worth noting that the firm is keenly aware of the value of personal service and its give-and-take relationship to advisory workload.

Highly Experienced Advisory Team

The team at Lycos Asset Management consists of Constantine Lycos, Adrian Mastracci, Steve Nyvik, and Gregg Lutton.

See below for an in-depth look at the qualifications and individual philosophies of each financial professional.

Constantine Lycos

Constantine Lycos manages investment portfolios for institutions, family businesses, business owners, and professionals.

His investment philosophy is simple yet effective—building wealth comes from buying profitable businesses at affordable prices.

As the founder and president of Lycos Asset Management, he brings an impressive array of professional experience and investment certifications to create dynamic, high-performing portfolios.

Lycos holds a Bachelor degree in Mathematics from the University of London and a Master’s degree in Mathematical Finance from Oxford University.

His professional certifications include the Canadian Investment Manager (CIM), Derivatives Market Specialist (DMS), and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designations.

He also retains membership with the following professional associations:

  • The CFA Institute
  • CFA Vancouver
  • Responsible Investment Association of Canada

Founder and President of Lycos Asset Management Inc. - Constantine Lycos

Image Source: Lycos Asset Management

Adrian Mastracci

With over 40 years of experience, Senior Portfolio Manager Adrian Mastracci specializes in designing and managing portfolios for high net worth clients.

The recent addition of Mr. Mastracci represents a powerful combination of Lycos Asset Management and KCM Wealth Management, providing additional investment options and strategies for both sets of clients.

According to Mastracci,

My greatest hope is to bring our clients insights and perspectives to guide their long-term finances. We help them to be prudent, informed, long-term investors.

He holds a Bachelor of Engineering from General Motors Institute, and has an MBA from the University of British Columbia.

Steve Nyvik

With over 25 years of experience, Steve Nyvik is committed to building tax-efficient portfolios to build a safe and secure retirement for clients. His unique investing approach includes:

  • Investing money wisely
  • Eliminating, deferring, and reducing taxes
  • Protecting against devastating life events
  • Designing effective estate plans

This dynamic approach is reflected in his investment philosophy, controlling risk to produce diversified, well-managed portfolios.

Nyvik brings a wealth of professional experience and certifications, including a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University and a Master of Business Administration from EU Business School.

His certifications include Registered Financial Planner (RFP), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), and Canadian Investment Manager (CIM) designations.

Although $250,000 is the desired investment minimum, many of Nyvik’s clients have investment portfolios exceeding $750,000.

Gregg Lutton

Before working at Lycos Asset Management, Gregg Lutton was a part of numerous venture capital projects.

As the Director of Marketing, Lutton holds an MFIN specializing in hedge fund and private equity management from the University of Monaco.

Financial Advisory & Portfolio Management Fees

While not publicly listed on their landing page, Portfolio Manager Adrian Mastracci clearly states that Lycos Asset Management is a “fee-only” financial advisory firm.

This means that clients can trust that Lycos Asset Management provides truly unbiased results, as they do not receive commissions of any kind from their investments.

As a fee-only firm, Lycos Asset Management is also committed to disclosing all professional fees to their clients, encouraging transparency and trust.

As stated on their “Why Us” page, “We don’t sell you products, put you into questionable IPOs, [or] earn commissions from investment products.”

With commissions built into investment costs, fees are deductible for taxable portfolios, which can certainly help clients increase their returns during tax season.

Media Engagement

Lycos Asset Management actively maintains social media accounts on Facebook and LinkedIn, promoting engagement with both current and potential clients. The firm also has a free blog with an array of financial and investing advice.

Individually, the team members at Lycos Asset Management stay connected with the financial environment around them, publishing articles, appearing on news segments, and providing professional input for local media.

Adrian Mastracci has contributed financial pieces to The Globe and Mail, and has also been enlisted as a finance and investing expert for financial publications.

Steve Nyvik posts regularly on LinkedIn, publishing articles on investment topics like risk, time horizon, and retirement planning strategies. A few examples include:

  • “Managing today’s investment risks”
  • “Are you getting good value from your advisor?”
  • “Managing company income”

From 2012-2014, founder Constantine Lycos spoke multiple times on Canadian television’s Business News Network as an investment expert. He has appeared as a contributor on the following BNN segments:

In 2016, Constantine was also featured in Finance Monthly, which highlighted the ongoing success of Lycos Asset Management and the firm’s keen focus on providing high levels of client service.

Despite having a wide range of media mentions and published articles, Lycos Asset Management hardly calls attention to these successes, which may speak to their focus on client-driven accomplishments, rather than those of the firm itself.

Conclusion: Future Outlook for Lycos Asset Management Inc.

With a strong commitment to personalized service, expert investment management, and an active presence in the financial industry, it’s safe to say that the future continues to be bright for Lycos Asset Management.

In fact, perhaps the only element working against Lycos Asset Management is that some users may find their website to be disorganized or cluttered.

Potential clients are more apt to find specific information on client services, philosophies, and investment requirements by skipping “Why Us” and going directly to individual profile pages to evaluate whether Lycos Asset Management is a good fit for your financial goals.

While this may be frustrating for some, it isn’t necessarily a downfall. After all, the firm clearly states its focus on connecting clients directly with advisors, and this is truly how potential clients will get the best information.

For many investors, the greatest measures of a firm’s success come from industry experience, personalized portfolio development, and a dedication to a client-centric approach. In our assessment, Lycos Asset Management certainly seems to provide a wealth of each.

For high net worth individuals, families, professionals, businesses, and institutions that want exclusive, expert advisory services, Lycos Asset Management could be a great fit.

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