Investors are dear to my heart: big and small, sophisticated and simple, learned and lay. I write for them daily. They return the favor by mostly reading what I write (or so I hope), keeping me plenty occupied and furnishing my paycheck.

So it's fitting that I should start by begging for investors' forgiveness: This book, alas, is not for them. It's for those who write for them. Yes, the writers who develop investment literature and communications on behalf of financial‐services firms. You know who you are, dear writers. Know that I toil among you.

You may be a staff writer of an investment firm or a creative‐services agency catering to such a firm. You may be a freelancer. Either way, you would typically be writing on behalf of a firm or investment professional—a portfolio manager, chief investment officer, product manager, economist, analyst, advisor, or anyone in a money‐management, investor‐relations or client‐service capacity.

That's not to say investment professionals can't write themselves. There are many who possess financial and writing talent—who have the capacity to manage portfolios and products, analyze markets, manage client accounts, or serve in related functions—and write terrific, informative prose for their investors. But since there are also mortals who can't do both at the same time and do them well, there's usually a corporate job out there for the dedicated writer—likely you. Yet if you happen to be an investment professional in need of a handbook ...

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