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The Investment Writing Handbook

Book Description

The writing "bible" for financial professionals

The Investment Writing Handbook provides practical, accessible guidance for crafting more effective investor communications. Written by an award-winning writer, editor, and speechwriter, this book explains the principles and conventions that help writing achieve its purpose; whether you need to inform, educate, persuade, or motivate, you'll become better-equipped to develop a broad range of communications and literature for investor consumption. Examples from real-world financial institutions illustrate expert execution, while explanations and advice targeted specifically toward investor relations give you the help you need quickly. From white papers and investment commentary to RFPs, product literature, and beyond, this book is the financial writer's "bible" that you should keep within arm's reach.

Investment writing is one of the primary influences on investors' attitudes. It educates, informs decisions, shapes opinions, and drives behavior—so shouldn't it be expertly-crafted to achieve its intended goal? This book explains the "tricks of the trade" to help you get your message across.

  • Understand the principles of effective investor communication
  • Master the conventions of informative and persuasive writing
  • Examine well-written sample documents from real-world institutions
  • Improve research papers, presentations, investor letters, marketing literature, and more

Virtually all firms with investors as clients need to communicate to them regularly, but few financial professionals receive formal training in investor communications. When investors' opinions, attitudes, and actions determine the health of your company, it is vitally important that these communications not be left to chance. The Investment Writing Handbook provides essential guidance and clear explanations to help you transform your communication strategy, execution, and results.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Preface
  4. Introduction: For Whom Is This Handbook, and Why?
    1. NOTE
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. About the Author
  7. CHAPTER 1: The Building Blocks of Investment Writing
    1. WHAT'S INVESTMENT WRITING ALL ABOUT?
    2. APPLYING JOURNALISTIC PRINCIPLES TO INVESTMENT WRITING
    3. THE STRATEGIC PURPOSES OF INVESTMENT WRITING
    4. NOTE
  8. CHAPTER 2: Writing for Investor Acquisition and Retention
    1. FRAMING YOUR INVESTMENT PROPOSITION AS THE SOLUTION TO A PROBLEM
    2. INVESTOR RETENTION: IT'S ALL IN THE COMMUNICATION
    3. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS FOR REASSURING INVESTORS
    4. NOTES
  9. CHAPTER 3: Writing for Intermediaries
    1. HOW INTERMEDIARIES EXPECT YOU TO COMMUNICATE
    2. INTERMEDIARIES DON'T HAVE IT EASY, SO HELP THEM OUT
  10. CHAPTER 4: Stylistic Considerations for Investment Writing
    1. SETTING THE APPROPRIATE STYLE
    2. ON USING JARGON
    3. PIQUING INVESTORS' INTEREST
    4. THE VALUE OF A STYLE GUIDE FOR INVESTMENT WRITING
    5. KEY AREAS TO COVER IN YOUR FIRM'S STYLE RULES
    6. A PARTING NOTE ON STYLE
    7. NOTES
  11. CHAPTER 5: Developing an Architecture of Investment Content
    1. PART 1: FOUNDATIONAL LITERATURE
    2. PART 2: INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL
    3. PART 3: EDUCATIONAL LITERATURE
    4. PART 4: DIGITAL AND SOCIAL MEDIA
    5. PART 5: SHAREHOLDER COMMUNICATIONS
    6. NOW THAT YOU'VE MAPPED ARCHITECTURE …
    7. NOTES
  12. CHAPTER 6: How to Simplify Complex Investment Subjects
    1. THINK BITS—NOT PIECES
    2. VISUALIZE THE IDEA FOR YOUR READERS
    3. START WITH A PREAMBLE
    4. LAY OUT A TABLE
    5. USE A FRAME OF REFERENCE, ANALOGY, OR METAPHOR
    6. GIVE AN EXAMPLE
    7. NOTE
  13. CHAPTER 7: How to Make Investment Writing Legally Compliant
    1. AVOID ABSOLUTES, SUPERLATIVES, AND DEFINITIVE STATEMENTS…
    2. YOU CAN BE PREDICTIVE—BUT NOT PROMISSORY
    3. BE SPECIFIC ENOUGH FOR CLARITY—YET GENERAL ENOUGH TO ACCOMMODATE EXCEPTIONS
    4. TIME‐STAMP ANYTHING THAT'S IMPERMANENT
    5. CHERRIES ARE NOT FOR PICKING—AND SECURITIES COME AT A PRICE
    6. NEGOTIATE GRAY AREAS WITH YOUR LEGAL REVIEWER
    7. USE CAUTION WHEN NAVIGATING WORD SUBTLETIES
    8. AVOID REDUNDANT QUALIFICATIONS
    9. UNLESS YOU'RE PERMITTED, DO NOT DISPENSE INVESTMENT ADVICE
    10. SOCIAL (MEDIA) BUTTERFLIES ARE NOT EXEMPT FROM REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS
    11. CONSULT A LEGAL SPECIALIST WHEN WRITING ABOUT INVESTMENT PERFORMANCE
    12. SEEK WAYS TO STREAMLINE THE LEGAL REVIEW
    13. DIVERSIFY YOUR LANGUAGE
    14. ON LEGALITIES, CREATIVITY, AND INTEGRITY
    15. NOTES
  14. Epilogue: Where Investment Writing Is Headed in the Twenty‐First Century
    1. NOTE
  15. Index
  16. End User License Agreement