Tuesday, October 30, 2007

How to cut excess words from your investment commentary

Fewer words and more punctuation can give your investment commentary more impact.

Below you'll find a before and after example.

With only two more Fed meetings remaining in 2007 (on Oct. 31 and Dec. 11), the issue remains whether the Fed’s unexpectedly aggressive 50 basis point cut in the fed funds rate last week was intended to shock the markets to restore confidence or, they are concerned that the underlying economic conditions are worse than most of us think.

The meaning of the Fed's 0.5% cut in short-term interest rates is not clear. The Fed might have made this unexpectedly large cut to restore confidence. Or, the Fed might be worried that the economy is in worse shape than most of us think.

The Before sentence is fine if it's only read by investment professionals who want to extract its meaning. They can get it in one reading. But unsophisticated readers will struggle. Why? Because the sentence is long. It also includes superfluous information and technical language.

In my After sentence I
  • Deleted unnecessary information about the Oct. and Dec. Fed meetings
  • Paraphrased my way around references to fed funds rate and basis points
  • Broke one sentence into three sentences
  • Referred to the Fed as it instead of they

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home