When looking at any investment manager, advisor, or investment research provider (like us), Trust has 4 main elements:
- Do you know who we are? What is our motivation?
- Do we know what we’re doing?
- Are we doing what we said we’d do?
- Are we standing behind our calls? Do we put money where our mouths are?
As far as The Buylyst is concerned, the answer is an emphatic YES to all these questions. Ultimately, Trust is about Transparency – that is one of our core values.
Do you know who we are? What is our motivation? We hope we’ve been very clear – here and here. The gist is that we’ve lived and breathed investing for decades, which gives us a unique set of skills to create and to operate The Buylyst. Our motivation, ultimately, is Control – to know exactly where our money is invested, and howit is invested. In the process, we want to have control over our financial future not only through our investment returns but also by providing our craft directly to people who want it. We have a vision for how money should be invested. The Buylyst is a manifestation of that vision.
Do we know what we’re doing? Our experience, of course, speaks for itself. It is broad and deep across a number of asset classes and top-notch firms where we’ve learned our craft. But the big take-away is that you know our research process and our investment philosophy. It goes back to Transparency. It’s all out there – how we do things and why we do what we do. We’ve combined our experience with the timeless principles of Intelligent Investing – the set of principles that Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger and Benjamin Graham have taught us. We breathe investing, live it, teach it, and earn money from it. This is our craft.
Do we do what we say we do? Transparency, again, is our product’s North Star. Our investment theses along with our rationale and process are completely transparent. We’ve designed The Buylyst in layers. Every investment we’re in, is in The Buy List – complete with when we made the investment call, our entry price, our target price and how the idea has performed so far. So, you can look just at the dashboard or peer under the hood whenever you please.
Do we put money where our mouths are? Yes. As a Founder, I invest a significant portion of my assets (more than 80%) in The Buy List. Skeptical subscribers who need confirmation may request my brokerage statements if need be.
“Everything should be made as simple as possible but no simpler.”
Those words were spoken by Albert Einstein (allegedly). We take that to heart. When The Buylyst was born on a whiteboard in my small New York City apartment, the first sketches were about simplicity and clarity. Wall Street, by design and arguably by intent, is unnecessarily complex. I wanted to change that. The guiding North Star, as I was drawing the first sketches on the whiteboard, was “Investing is not about equations; it is not divorced from reality; everyone should be able to ‘get it’.”
Clarity is a big part of our identity. This shows up in the site’s design, and in our writing. We realize that we’re tackling big, hairy topics – like How to invest in Artificial Intelligence or How to invest in Renewable Energy – things can get complicated and nerdy. And once we start digging into the financials of a company, things can get very tedious. So, we’ve designed our investment worldviews and theses in layers. Zoom in as much as you want. And zoom out whenever you’d like. To make The Buylyst as easy to use as possible, we’ve made everything as simple as possible, but no simpler.
One of our Clarity initiatives is our Themes page. At The Buylyst, everything starts with observing the world around us, seeing how it’s changing, spotting trends, doing research and formulating a Worldview. Worldviews often distill down to specific investment ideas. That is the crux of our offering: The Buy List. But many Worldviews are related to other Worldviews and also give rise to even more Worldviews. Over time, we see clusters of Worldviews, which we group as Themes. And these Themes now serve as an intuitive starting point for navigating The Buylyst. Furthermore, they are a neat representation of Clarity in our thinking: Our top-down exposure matches our bottom-up view; we know exactly where we’re invested and why.
Ultimately, investment products are about investment returns. That’s why we all invest in the first place – to beat inflation handily so we have enough left over when we want to retire or take a sabbatical or start our own company. We call it Financial Freedom. Money doesn’t buy us happiness, but it does buy us choices.
We’re long-term investors, not day-traders. We don’t measure against a benchmark nor do we get flustered by short-term volatility. Warren Buffett’s guru, Benjamin Graham said, “In the short-run, the market is a voting machine; in the long-run it’s a weighing machine.”We agree but let’s be very clear: we view “long-term” as 2 to 3 years. We expect our investment theses to play out in that time-frame. In many cases, we may hold on to our picks for longer than that.
Given our investment philosophy and circling back to the north stars of Clarity and Transparency, here’s an important point: Over the next couple of years, most of our returns will be “unrealized”, meaning we will still have positions in most of our picks. These are clearly laid out in The Buy List. Our “realized” returns when we exit a position whether they generated a profit or not, are recorded in our Archive section.
Our goal is to at least double our money every 10 years. That translates to 8-10% annualized, after taxes, or 10-12% annualized, before taxes. If you measure that against most Developed Market Equity benchmarks, then YES, it means that we plan on beating them handily over the long-term. We know that there will be swings on a yearly basis, so we don’t measure ourselves against a random benchmark every quarter or every year. We don’t care about short-term volatility or tracking error. We care about one risk above all: the risk of losing money. We do that by being invested in good companies that are changing the world, and not losing sight of our guiding principles such as Margin of Safety. The returns, then, take care of themselves.
Enrichment isn’t just monetary. Personal enrichment is what’s truly lasting. Our not-so-secret mission at The Buylyst is to take the mystery out of investing and make you a better investor.
We wish we had access to something like The Buylyst when we were learning our craft. In fact, when I was drawing out the first concept-sketches on a whiteboard, this was always on my mind: What would I have wanted as a student? As a beginner?
As a team, we’ve seen a lot in the investing world – most of it is gimmicky. And there are a lot of gimmicky products out there that are designed to confuse you (or impress you) with big scientific words. The Buylyst is about bringing investing back to common sense. While we were in the trenches in big banks and hedge funds, we took a step back and matched our experience with the wisdom of the giants of investing. We found out experientially what worked and what didn’t.
When we built The Buylyst, we wanted to infuse all that experience and the wisdom of the giants. You’ll notice their fingerprints in every layer of our product – from the investment theses to the worldviews. Most of all, you’ll notice it in our Mental Models – the building blocks of The Buylyst philosophy – inspired heavily by Charlie Munger’s “Latticework” concept.
Last but not least, as a subscriber you’ll have access to us all along the way. We’re here for you – to make you a better investor.
Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.