How do you keep your investment commentary fresh quarter after quarter?
This is especially challenging for writers who cover a narrowly defined investment strategy and lack the freedom to go off on tangents. I’m thinking about writers of institutional investment performance commentaries rather than writers of high-net-worth quarterly client letters.
Solution 1. Express an opinion
“I try to put strong opinions in my commentaries.” This was the solution offered by a participant in a writing workshop I delivered to the Stamford CFA Society. I like her approach.
Your clients will have seen the quarter thoroughly rehashed by the time your commentary reaches them. Your opinions can make you stand out from the crowd, reminding them of why they hired you. Opinions can also address the question of “what makes you unique and why will it persist?”
You may worry, “What if I express a strong opinion that eventually turns out to be wrong?” Here’s my take on that:
- Your clients may not remember.
- It’s okay in moderation, assuming your opinion is well thought out and consistent with your investment philosophy and process.
Solution 2. Highlight what’s new in an old theme
Many managers repeat the same themes quarter after quarter. After all, some issues in investment markets—such as the prospect for an end to the Fed’s easy-money policies or the search for yield in a low-interest-rate environment—play out over a long time. Don’t abandon a significant theme solely for the sake of novelty.
However, you can tilt your treatment of a theme to new developments. For example, perhaps investor demand has bid up asset classes that formerly offered higher yields at attractive valuations. It’s worth mentioning that change and the market forces that drove it.
I’m curious about how you handle this challenge. Please share your strategy.
Need hands-on help with your commentary?
I can write your commentary based on interviews with your investment professionals or based on attribution analysis and other materials provided by you. I also edit commentary you’ve written to make it more compelling and reader-friendly.
If your budget is limited, hire me to evaluate your newsletter and suggest improvements that you can implement yourself.
Image courtesy of foto76 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Note: I made minor edits on 12/30/19.