India's Best Fund Managers 2020

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UTI Mutual Fund’s Ajay Tyagi believes in paying high for quality stocks and waiting long

Faisal Magray

Some may call Warren Buffett a romantic. Why else would he stick to Omaha or say that people thinking well of you is the measure of success. Or is he a realist? What is wrong in living in a place that makes you joyous (even if it means turning your back on the Big Apple) or what is wrong in estimating your life’s progress in affection won? Perhaps the ways of the world make better sense when inverted, like the Oracle of Omaha does. 

Therefore, when Buffett preaches patience, you listen closely. His investment strategy is simple — to buy a handful of good quality stocks and hold on to them “forever”. In one of his annual letters, Buffett wrote, “When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favourite holding period is forever.” He learnt this from veteran American investor Philip Fisher, who was renowned for advocating the long-term investment approach in the 1930s. Fisher famously held on to Motorola, which he had bought in 1955, till his death in 2004.

 Ajay Tyagi has been fascinated by this investment strategy since his college days. When he started his professional career as an analyst at UTI Mutual Fund, he continued reading about Buffett’s investment philosophy and sifted through his annual letters dating all the way back to the 1970s. And then around mid-2000, Tyagi heard about Fisher and discovered how Buffett had learnt from him. “Fisher’s philosophy was to be confident about the quality of the business and hold on to it forever,” he says. Tyagi attributes his investment style to Fisher and Buffett.   

Tyagi’s stockpicking and his unflinching faith in “quality” businesses reflect in his portfolio and his investment strategy. When he was managing the India-dedicated offshore fund in 2011, he picked up Info Edge and it continues to be part of his portfolio at UTI Equity Fund. 

In 2011, internet companies were booming across the world. They had superior, non-linear business model that generated strong cash flows. Investment was low, eve


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