Tuesday, November 21, 2006

CFA ethics conference cancelled

The CFA Institute's December 2006 ethics conference has been cancelled "due to limited interest."

Was it just a matter of poor timing or marketing?


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Provocative investment topics proposed by Providence CFAs

The small group exercises at my Providence presentation unleashed a lot of energy from the participants.

I asked them, "If you were writing investment commentary today, what provocative topic could you discuss?"

Here are some of their suggestions:
  1. Green or socially responsible investing -- do you have to give up total return to go green?
  2. Relationship between the election and the stock market
  3. Technical analysis of the stock market
  4. Hedge funds
  5. Choosing to invest for absolute returns instead of vs. a benchmark
  6. The need to eliminate home country bias and to think more globally
  7. Explaining the slide in energy prices
If you choose to write about one of these topics, please remember to tie it back to your client. How does the topic affect them and their portfolio? That's what will grab -- and keep -- their attention.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Using Word's readability statistics to improve your investment commentary

Some participants in my program on writing investment commentary seemed intrigued by the idea of using Word's readability statistics to evaluate their writing.

I've copied below Word's instructions for displaying those statistics.

If you can get your grade level down to 10th grade, my hat's off to you. Investments are complicated. It's not easy to get below the 12th grade.

If you want to lower your grade level, focus on writing shorter sentences using shorter words.

Display readability statistics

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Spelling & Grammar tab.
  2. Select the Check grammar with spelling check box.
  3. Select the Show readability statistics check box, and then click OK.
  4. On the Standard toolbar, click Spelling and Grammar .

    When Microsoft Word finishes checking spelling and grammar, it displays information about the reading level of the document.

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