This is How I Do it
I do the work, so you don’t have to. The Buylyst is my Research Ecosystem. And I’ve put it out there, so you can find it valuable. As a subscriber, you can use The Buylyst as an Investment Research provider, as a Magazine, as a second opinion, or as An Educational Forum. What you do with the contents of The Buylyst is entirely up to you. On my end, I can make sure that I supply you with:
1. Top-Notch Investment Research…
2.…that’s designed to be simple, succinct, uncluttered and easily digestible, …
3.…that should make you a better investor.
World-Class Investment Research
I say it's "world-class", not to be pompous, but because it's better than "professional-grade" research. In time, I may find a more humble adjective. The point is: I believe The Buylyst is a cut above your average mutual fund or Wall-Street research or the mostly shady stuff you find online.
The Buylyst is an Investment Research ecosystem that has a rich, distinct philosophical and intellectual foundation. This foundation is called Intelligent Investing. This “style” of investing in normally associated three giants of investing above all – Warren Buffet, Charlie Munger, Benjamin Graham. But, over time, I’ve come to realize that Intelligent Investing in practiced by all the giants of investing I have ever come across, regardless of their asset-class specialty. And the main reason, I believe, is what Benjamin Graham (who coined the term Intelligent Investing) said about the word “intelligent” used here: that it “…is a trait more of the character than of the brain…”. Intelligent Investing is a timeless style that never goes out of fashion because it is principles-based, not tactics-based. The immutable principles do, however, spill over into various tactics in fields like Accounting, Valuation, Risk and other necessary facets of investing. And that’s where a bulk of the physical work is – in making sure that every step in the investment process is faithful to Intelligent Investing. You will see the thumbprints of Intelligent Investing across The Buylyst.
This deep-dive into what the greats have said and done, when mapped onto my own experience in the investment management industry, is what makes The Buylyst Research world-class. I’ve spent more than a decade doing this sort of “mapping”. I started with some of the giants of Quantitative Investing like Nassim Nicolas Taleb and Emmanuel Derman. Over time I moved on to the giants of Fundamental Investing like Warren Buffett and Howard Marks. It slowly dawned on me that they were mostly in agreement with each other. That realization was eye-opening. But somehow that’s now most of the investment management industry – my industry – worked. I lived with this dissonance for years. While I did that, I spent years trying to find investment research that met my standards, so I could invest my hard-earned money after a hard day’s work. I couldn’t find anything like it. So, I put my mapping to good use, and I created The Buylyst.
If you ask your fund manager about what the philosophical and intellectual foundation of their fund is, chances are that you’ll see them flummoxed. Most of them don’t have one. The Buylyst does. And it shows across the ecosystem and in The Buylyst Research Process.
This is how, I believe, research should be done.
World-Class Research means nothing if it’s too complicated to use. Wall-Street and Academic Finance tend to complicate investing to a level where they like to pretend it’s a Science like Physics or Chemistry. It’s not; the giants of investing know this, intellectually and viscerally.
As I started designing The Buylyst, my north-star was twofold: Simplicity and Transparency. My challenge was to take all that philosophically and intellectually rich research and present it in a way that even the most casual investors will find easy-to-understand, and possibly entertaining. Each section of The Buylyst is deigned to make investing as simple and clear as possible.
The Worldview section is a collection of magazine-style articles that are easy to read and usually lead to a definitive conclusion about where to invest and how to invest. In doing so, I hope to raise the bar on investment-themed magazines and newspapers, most of which provide a ton of analysis while they shy away from definitive conclusions.
The Mental Models section is designed like a periodic table, in a thinly-veiled attempt to emphasize that these are, in fact, the philosophical and intellectual elements or building blocks of The Buylyst.
Opinions on specific investment ideas – which often trickle down from a Worldview – are neatly separated into two buckets: The Buy List and a Watch List. Each investment idea comes with a carefully designed, succinct, digestible Thesis. Each Thesis Many “to-the-point” type of investors may directly go to these sections and branch out from there into Worldviews and Mental Models that form the basis of an investment Thesis.
The Buylyst is deigned in layers. You can go down as deep into the rabbit-hole as you want. Or you can stop at the 5-minute mark and still come out with a nuanced opinion on an investment idea. Dig in. Or keep it simple. It’s up to you.
A Focused Buy List
All that effort to distill complex information and make things simple would be incomplete without a tangible destination. That destination is a definitive, focused Buy List. This is the crux of The Buylyst. The Buy List is the ideas pipeline of The Buylyst Portfolio, which houses a significant majority of my savings. In other words, I have skin in the game. As I’m sure you know, that’s a rarity. It shouldn’t be.
Apart from a general lack of aligned incentives, one of my gripes about investment research providers has been their inability or unwillingness to give me a focused, definitive Buy List of ideas from which I can pick my investments. And amongst the few I found out there, the quality of research and the motivation of the author were questionable, to put it mildly. All I wanted to do was to find a Buy List that was backed by top-notch research. And preferably one where the authors of the research had put in their own capital.
The Buy List takes care of both those issues. And the list of ideas is intentionally short and manageable, consistent with the tenets of Intelligent Investing. Each entry in the list is accompanied by a Thesis – a one-pager, which is a starting point to deeper research, should you choose to do so.
Putting this list and the research out there in an easily digestible format should help investors who like to know where their money is invested. As a subscriber, you can use the list as you deem appropriate. It could be your pipeline of ideas or just fun weekend reading, or a bit of both. The decision to invest your money is yours, not The Buylyst’s. The Buy List is simply the pipeline for The Buylyst Portfolio.
An Educational Platform
Ultimately, in my quest to develop a system with world-class research which is easy to consume, I ended up creating a unique educational platform. This may end up as the primary reason people subscribe to The Buylyst. And I will have no complaints about that. The Buylyst has turned out to be an educational platform that I wish I had access to during my formative years as a Research Analyst.
What sets The Buylyst apart from other educational platforms is this: It’s not just theory and rumination; it’s a time-tested philosophy on investing that’s been put in action, with real money. It’s a living, breathing, growing manual on How to Invest, built upon the wisdom and experience of the giants of investing.
If you are mostly interested in the theory part of it, you won’t be disappointed either. The Worldview section has plenty of articles about the art of investing. These are heavily based on the Mental Models section, which houses all the intellectual and philosophical heft on which The Buylyst is based. There is a database functionality in Mental Models that I’m particularly proud of: It gives you the ability to find what a particular giant of investing has said about a particular topic on investing. Check it out. It’s free.
If you’re a regular user of The Buylyst, I doubt there will be much difference in investing know-how between you and the “pros”. In fact, over time, I wager that you will surpass them; that you will become a true Intelligent Investor. When than happens, you will be a rarity. In the world investing, that’s a good thing.
“You may take it as an axiom that you cannot profit in Wall Street by continuously doing the obvious or the popular thing.” – Benjamin Graham
Many Happy Returns.