Financial Blogging: How to Write Powerful Posts That Attract Clients

Book Review Financial Blogging

This is a practical book that is a very good book. Do you want to write things that people want to read?  This book will help you do it.

Coming out of US public schools, not everyone is prepared to write for a broad audience because:

  • They aren’t good with spelling and grammar.
  • They can’t make it interesting.
  • They don’t know what to write about.

This book can help with many of the deficiencies, aiding writers, to write and rewrite tight prose.

This book will help you source ideas. It will help you refine ideas, as you write and rewrite ideas.

It will help you map out ideas before you write, so that you have a visual outline of what you want to say, which will aid you in expressing your ideas.

Now if you read this book does it mean that it will guarantee that you write great stuff? No.

You have to have some edge that you want to express.  Most investment commentary is garbage.  Those the have a differential insight might be able to create value.  But that is not generally true, unless we are at Lake Wobegon, where all of the children are above average.  Lake Wobegon is fictitious, easy excess returns are hard.

The main idea is start blogging, and start improving.  Start with a good idea that would have broad interest. Then write, revise, revise, revise.  Writing gets better with effort and editing.

Beyond that, you will have to think of compliance.  Disclose all relevant interests that you the writer might have.  If you own or short a stock that you write about, disclose it.

This book will improve your blogging.  It will sharpen what you write about, the frequency at which you write, and how you write.  This is a great book for financial bloggers.

Quibbles

None

Who would benefit from this book: Almost all financial blogger could benefit from the book.  Though I am experienced, there are many places where I learned more.  If you want to, you can buy it here: Financial Blogging: How to Write Powerful Posts That Attract Clients.

Full disclosure: I asked the author for a review copy, because I respect her to a high degree.

If you enter Amazon through my site, and you buy anything, I get a small commission.  This is my main source of blog revenue.  I prefer this to a “tip jar” because I want you to get something you want, rather than merely giving me a tip.  Book reviews take time, particularly with the reading, which most book reviewers don’t do in full, and I typically do. (When I don’t, I mention that I scanned the book.  Also, I never use the data that the PR flacks send out.)

Most people buying at Amazon do not enter via a referring website.  Thus Amazon builds an extra 1-3% into the prices to all buyers to compensate for the commissions given to the minority that come through referring sites.  Whether you buy at Amazon directly or enter via my site, your prices don’t change.

By David Merkel, CFA of alephblog



About the Author

David Merkel
David J. Merkel, CFA, FSA — 2010-present, I am working on setting up my own equity asset management shop, tentatively called Aleph Investments. It is possible that I might do a joint venture with someone else if we can do more together than separately. From 2008-2010, I was the Chief Economist and Director of Research of Finacorp Securities. I did a many things for Finacorp, mainly research and analysis on a wide variety of fixed income and equity securities, and trading strategies. Until 2007, I was a senior investment analyst at Hovde Capital, responsible for analysis and valuation of investment opportunities for the FIP funds, particularly of companies in the insurance industry. I also managed the internal profit sharing and charitable endowment monies of the firm. From 2003-2007, I was a leading commentator at the investment website RealMoney.com. Back in 2003, after several years of correspondence, James Cramer invited me to write for the site, and I wrote for RealMoney on equity and bond portfolio management, macroeconomics, derivatives, quantitative strategies, insurance issues, corporate governance, etc. My specialty is looking at the interlinkages in the markets in order to understand individual markets better. I no longer contribute to RealMoney; I scaled it back because my work duties have gotten larger, and I began this blog to develop a distinct voice with a wider distribution. After three-plus year of operation, I believe I have achieved that. Prior to joining Hovde in 2003, I managed corporate bonds for Dwight Asset Management. In 1998, I joined the Mount Washington Investment Group as the Mortgage Bond and Asset Liability manager after working with Provident Mutual, AIG and Pacific Standard Life. My background as a life actuary has given me a different perspective on investing. How do you earn money without taking undue risk? How do you convey ideas about investing while showing a proper level of uncertainty on the likelihood of success? How do the various markets fit together, telling us us a broader story than any single piece? These are the themes that I will deal with in this blog. I hold bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University. In my spare time, I take care of our eight children with my wonderful wife Ruth.