Making Investment Strategies Interesting
July 7, 2015
By Beverly Flaxington
Yarra Square Partners returned 19.5% net in 2020, outperforming its benchmark, the S&P 500, which returned 18.4% throughout the year. According to a copy of the firm's fourth-quarter and full-year letter to investors, which ValueWalk has been able to review, 2020 was a year of two halves for the investment manager. Q1 2021 hedge fund Read More
Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.
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We are reworking fact sheets for a number of our specialty investment products. As we read them, we see that we use the same terminology and ideas over and over again. While we don’t want the fact sheets to be marketing pieces that sound too salesy, we would like them to be read. How can we make this aspect of our offering more compelling?
With any piece, it’s important to define both a purpose and an outcome. You should know what you want the reader to do once they read it. The term “fact sheets” can mean different things to different firms. Are they meant to convey just the facts of the investment strategies, or are they intended as “teasers” to compel someone to request more information?
It’s interesting that your question arrived now because I’ve personally been spending a lot of time recently writing scripts for a client to share information about investment strategies for new hires. Here are some things I’ve learned that might be helpful:
- Stay away from jargon that can be misunderstood. Those of us in the industry take for granted that everyone knows our language, but this is a big mistake! Stop and review each word and see if you can’t define anything more clearly and in lay-person’s terms
- Interview yourselves or your investment team. Sometimes the way investment experts describe what they do in conversation is very different than what you might write. Have a conversation first and don’t exchange all of your ideas in writing.
- Create a process for the reader. What happens first, next and last? Think storylines. Instead of putting in lots of data and details about the strategy, think about what you do each day to manage it. Sometimes seeing the “behind the scenes” can be really interesting for someone outside of your world.
- Know your audience. If you are talking to a high net worth investor you will want to focus on different aspects of your story than you would when talking to a corporate retirement plan sponsor. One size does not fit all, so you may have to write more than one piece.
- Have someone outside the firm read it. Ask them their take-away. What did they find compelling and interesting? What else would they like to know?
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