Sunday, May 14, 2006

Critic's corner: Fixed income commentary

I'm turning a critical eye on investment commentary as I prepare for my June presentation on "The Six Deadly Sins of Investment Commentary, or How to Write What Your Clients Will Read."

Here's the first sentence of a "fixed income outlook" dated April 2006: "Ben Bernanke's recent appointment to lead the Federal Reserve does not seem to have brought major changes in policy."

Does this sentence tempt you to read more?

I doubt it. If you're informed enough to recognize Ben's name, you know that pundits didn't predict big changes from him, nor has he made such changes.

"So what?" might be your reaction if you don't know who Ben is.

When you're competing for your readers' very limited time, remember they may only give you one sentence to pique their interest.

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