Six Words That Drive Compliance Crazy

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The last thing you want is become “that advisor.” Once you get put in the compliance department’s doghouse, you ain’t getting out anytime soon! This is especially true for wirehouse reps.

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Here are six phrases to avoid using in your marketing copy if you want your chief compliance officer to like you.

The no-nos

#1 Unique

As I’ve said before in other articles, the advisory industry has become so commoditized that very few firms are doing anything special. You’ll only annoy compliance by calling anything you do “unique” because that it’s an exaggeration.

Use terms such as “distinct” or “we have been distinguished by” because this phrase is far less absolute.

#2 Best (Better)

In addition to hating hyperbole, compliance loathes any superlative terminology. Forget about calling anything “better” or ”best” and take it down a level to “good,” “successful” or “suitable.”

#3 Performed


Unless you’re referring to the Academy Awards, forget about even alluding to performance.

#4 Guarantee

No need to explain. Remember compliance hates any absolute terms. Use a more wishy-washy phrase such as “may be,” “we believe that,” “we expect” or “is likely to be.”

#5 (Something) Will

Welcome to the Twilight Zone. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity.

Any time you talk about any future event, add the word “likely” or “probably.”

#6 You Must (You Should)

This phrasing strikes fear into the keyboards of your legal team. Any imperative could be construed as advice, so don’t even go there.

Take the commanding tone out of the sentence by phrasing it as “you could consider” or “you may wish to look at.”

By Sara Grillo, read the full article here.

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