Frequently Asked Questions

Published on 08/27/21 | The Buylyst Team | 1,845 Words

The BuyGist:

  • We've tried to answer the questions we get asked most often. But we're sure we've missed something.
  • If you have other questions, please don't hesitate to reach us at

What is The Buylyst?

The Buylyst is the best investment magazine in the world – that’s our opinion anyway. If it isn’t the best yet, we’re working hard every day to make it the best. And by “best”, we mean the most useful. What makes The Buylyst the most useful investment magazine in the world?

  1. Our research & analysis is both top-down and bottom-up. We start with a Thematic Worldview to investing, and end with a clear, focused, definitive portfolio of investments. With us, you see the proverbial forest AND the trees.
  2. We think thematically, which is intuitive and allows us to invest in the forces of progress that will change our civilization over the next few decades. But when we get down to putting our money to work, we rely on our research experience to tie the story to hard numbers and logic. We don’t punt or speculate. We always invest with a well-reasoned thesis.
  3. We do deep, high quality research – right up there with the best investment managers in the world. This may sound conceited, but the truth is that we simply don’t compromise on the quality of investment research. Our research philosophy and process has been carefully honed throughout our careers on Wall Street, and via our persistent study of the greatest investors in the world.
  4. Our north star is “Actionability”. We strive to make all our research easy-to-read, easy-to-digest, fun (dare we say), and, above all, actionable. If it’s not actionable, it’s not worth doing. . “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.” – Yogi Berra
  5. We don’t just analyze and ruminate. We put almost all our savings in The Buylyst Portfolio*. Our magazine revolves around how we invest our money and why. Through our example, we hope you find clarity and peace of mind in your investing journey.
  6. No other magazine is as transparent as us – our investment ideas come with clear entry and exit points, a detailed investment thesis and a definitive valuation. We don’t beat around the bush or hedge our language. We mentioned that our north star is Actionability – this would be impossible to achieve without our relentless quest for Clarity and Transparency.
  7. Our other north star, if you will, is Readability. We abhor jargon and pomposity. We love clarity, simplicity and, again, actionability in whatever we write and publish.
  8. The Buylyst is what you make it out to be. You can use The Buylyst as a magazine, sure. Or you can use us as a repository of investment ideas. Or you can use it as a screening board for your ideas. Either way, we’re here to help. We’re here to do the heavy lifting, so you don’t have to. Your subscription entitles you to ask us any investment-related questions*.

*The Buylyst Portfolio is NOT (and should not be construed as) financial advice; the portfolio is not a recommendation for what you should do with your money. The Buylyst Portfolio is clear, succinct and totally transparent (in terms of our exposures by holding, target weights, latest trades and investment theses) for informational purposes only. Think of it as our proof-of-concept for The Buylyst Magazine.

Who is The Buylyst?

We’re a team of investment professionals who’ve each spent more than a decade in Research, Investment Banking and Private Equity. Our diverse set of experiences and skills make our research process stronger, more reliable, more readable, more actionable and, above all, more profitable. Here is the core team:

  1. Saurav Sen, CFA: Founder & Managing Partner
  2. Vishal Goenka: Chief Evangelist & Managing Partner
  3. Manab Sen: India Specialist & Managing Partner

What is your investment style?

We call it SWAN Investing – or Sleep Well At Night Investing. We are long-term, risk-averse investors with high expected returns (more than 10% on an annualized basis). Too good to be true? If we just punt it, yes. But it’s not too good to be true if we put in the hard work. This involves digging deep to invest in “comfortable businesses at comfortable prices”. Unpacking that a bit further – it means investing in companies that have a believable growth trajectory, a durable competitive advantage, a solid management team, and available at a price that doesn’t have obscene growth expectations built into them. So, we can sleep well at night while our savings compound, and then retire early on a white-sand beach somewhere!

More on SWAN Investing here.

What is your Track Record?

You can find the numbers here (scroll to the second page). Our performance numbers are calculated by Merrill, A Bank of America Company – our broker. We already mentioned that our goal is to generate returns greater than 10% (annualized) whilst sleeping well at night. A secondary goal, possibly a by-product of the first, is to handily beat the S&P 500 Total Return Index over the long term. Why the S&P 500? Only because it’s the easiest, most liquid, equity index ETF out there. It is the poster child for “passive investing”. With all the “active” research & valuation work we do over here, we expect to handily beat this popular, easy-to-implement passive strategy. So far, so good.

Do you have a return target?

Yes, over the long-term (5 years or more), we expect to generate more than 10% annualized returns. “More than…” is a vague term, we know. Well, we secretly hope to generate 15% annualized returns or more. For the sake of (maybe unnecessary) precision, if we hang up our boots someday with, say, a 12.5% Annualized Return stat, we’d be quite happy. At 15%, we’ll feel like rock stars. At 20%, we may be enjoying the feeling of warm, soft, velvety sand beneath our feet on our private island.

In which asset classes do you invest?

We invest mostly in public equities (this includes exchange-traded-funds that are liquid and can be easily traded). “Actionability” is a big priority at The Buylyst. While we love contemplating esoteric instruments (given our backgrounds), we like to keep it as simple as possible. Stocks and ETFs are liquid, and don’t cost a dime to trade in many regions of the world these days. Again, if we think our readers have the willingness and desire to act upon our research, they should be able to do so without worrying about liquidity. The choice to act upon our research, however, is purely up to them.

Our hunting ground for investment ideas is unconstrained in terms of geography, market cap, style buckets or any other descriptive label. As of typing this, nearly 40% of our holdings are non-US companies. We expect to have a significant portion of our portfolio invested in non-US stocks and ETFs. In terms of the distribution of the underlying revenue of our holdings (a better indication of portfolio diversification), the non-US revenue bucket usually makes up more than 50% of the total aggregate revenue. In terms of market cap or style buckets, we never really have pre-determined targets. But so far, our Thematic and Bottom-Up Research has guided us towards a “Large Cap Growth” portfolio, for what it’s worth. This may change over time because we don't adhere to any artificially created "style buckets".

“Fund consultants like to require style boxes such as ‘long-short’, ‘macro’, ‘international equities’. At Berkshire, our only style box is ‘smart’.” – Warren Buffett

Do you invest in derivatives?

Generally, NO. We have delved in Index Options in the past as Risk Management vehicles. But that was a one-off. Generally, we stick to our knitting – finding comfortable businesses at comfortable prices. Currently, we only invest in liquid, public Equities and sometimes in ETFs. In time, liquidity permitting, we may delve into corporate bonds and some plain-vanilla derivatives. We will never delve in any asset classes that most investors out there cannot trade easily.

Do you invest in small-cap companies?

Sure! We have no restrictions on investing in any companies as long as their stocks are liquid enough so we can trade out of it whenever we need. Our “market cap” bias is purely a product of our top-down thematic and bottom-up fundamental research. We have no pre-determined market-cap bias in mind. We go where we think the returns are.

Does The Buylyst offer personalized financial advice?

No. We are NOT financial advisors. We’re an investment magazine that, one might argue, goes above and beyond by making our portfolio totally transparent. But we do not recommend investments to any party. Mimicking or replicating our investment strategy is purely the choice of the reader.

What happens if I lose money based on your recommendations?

We hope this never happens, but it’s part of the game. Investing legends such as Warren Buffett and George Soros have also lost money from time to time. So, it would be unreasonable and conceited of us to expect 100% of our bets to work out. That said, we expect to generate 10-15% annualized returns over the long-term BUT this applies to our entire portfolio. It’s possible that you lose money based on our research IF you cherry pick one or two investment ideas. Obviously, we don’t want that for you. While we put our heart and soul into avoiding permanent loss of capital – because we like to sleep well at night – mistakes can happen. Rest assured, we try very hard to avoid such mistakes because our life savings depend on The Buylyst Portfolio, which depends on the quality of our research. In that sense, incentives are as aligned as can be. However,…

The Buylyst cannot (and does not) guarantee any returns based on our research, specific holdings in The Buylyst Portfolio or the entire portfolio. While our performance has been satisfactory so far, past performance is no guarantee for future results.

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