I read this article yesterday, Does it matter if students can’t write well? at the Financial Times.  I say, yes it matters.

The Importance of Knowing How to Write Well

I’m not the greatest writer.  I have no books to my credit, so far, only a blog where I have written 2.5 million words over a 6.5 year period. Oh, and my lost writings at RealMoney.  Contact me if you can get them back.

I never thought I would write so much when I was young.  I was a math & science guy.  That said, I was one of three guys who managed the creation of the top yearbook in the nation in 1979, as evaluated by two separate judging committees.  We had talented copy editors, of which I was not one of them.

Today, when most writing is short cycle, and we find proofreading errors in even the best publications, we tend to deprecate writing.  I want to explain why learning to write clearly is important.

If you want to show that you can evaluate qualitative data well, you must be able to write well.  Good ability to write shows that you can evaluate the softer data that is often more important than the raw numbers.

Qualitative reasoning is as scarce as quantitative reasoning.  Being able to express it in a structured way, so that most can understand it takes skills in writing.

Thus I would say to all:

  • Learn math and science.
  • Learn reading and writing
  • Together, they are more powerful than separate.  I am glad I have both skills.  Skills in both can be developed, if you are patient.

So apply yourself to learning.  After all, that is one reason why God created man.  (For that, read Ecclesiastes… and if you don’t get it, email me.)

By David Merkel, CFA of Aleph Blog