Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Writing samples for my presentation to Providence Society of Financial Analysts

Are you interested in writing good investment commentary?

Read on for links to samples of investment writing that I like. These are examples that I'm using in my November 3 presentation on "The Six Deadly Sins of Investment Commentary" to the Providence Society of Financial Analysts.

Writing about quarterly performance

Brinton Eaton Wealth Advisors does a nice job linking their quarterly market commentary to the performance of their clients' portfolios.

Here are some nice lines from their third quarter 2006 commentary (emphasis added):
  • The markets were quite mixed for the quarter, while your portfolio continued its relatively smooth upward ride....
  • As expected, in quarters such as this when large-cap stocks are among the leading performers, your portfolio will not follow their increase step-for-step, for the same reason you didn't follow their decrease earlier this year.
Their second quarter 2005, they provide some context for less positive results:
  • ... the most influential index for most investors is... the S&P 500 stock index. Unfortunately, these large-company stocks turned in another lackluster quarter...
  • The good news ... is that every other asset class did better than the S&P 500 -- in some cases, substantially better....
If you'd like to read more of Brinton Eaton's commentary, go to their website, click on the "News Room" bar on the left, and select "Quarterly Overviews."

Writing about strategy

PIMCO does a nice job laying out their investment strategy on page two of their third quarter 2005 Market Outlook . They bullet and bold each strategy, then add a brief description.

For example,
  • Interest Rate Strategies - We plan to target duration near the index but retain tactical flexiblity, moving duration above the index as rates near the top of our forecasted range.... PIMCO plans to continue to emphasize shorter maturities in the U.S. ....
I also like some of the plain language used in the "Acorn Quarterly" section of these Columbia Funds' quarterly reports. For example, "We try to analyze companies as if we were buying the whole business rather than just a fraction of ownership."

Layout makes a difference

The visual presentation of your text makes a difference.

Look at
Perspective on Investments. Then imagine reading the same text without the use of white space, bullet points or indentation. It would be much less appealing.

Online resources referred to in my presentation

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Blogger SusanW said...

By the way, my quote from PIMCO's Bill Gross came from his October commentary (http://www.pimco.com/LeftNav/Featured+Market+Commentary/IO/2006/IO+October+2006.htm)Read his quote below to see how some commentators can get away with a more folksy tone.

"My second principle of successful investing alludes to the importance of determining how much moolah to put on the table at any one time. Texas hold’em players are familiar with the gambit of “all in” but bond managers rarely come from Texas and never put it ALL on the table. Au contraire, actually. They hug indexes to the extreme and are generally content with minute amounts of positive alpha. "

3:13 PM  

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