It’s hard to make your investment commentary stand out. After all, everybody’s writing about the same facts. However, adept use of quotes can make your commentary memorable.
For example, here’s how The Wall Street Journal’s “Ahead of the Tape” column started with a quote from the Bible (Matthew 20:16) on June 30, 2014:
Similarities between Scripture and financial markets are rare, but one verse seems to be a recurring theme: “The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.”
The writer, Spencer Jakab, explained the quote’s application in his column’s second paragraph.
Pundits and investors alike have a tendency to extrapolate the recent past into future expectations. That often is a recipe for disappointment.
The rest of the column discussed examples of Jakab’s theme. For example, commodities, which disappointed in 2013, were rebounding at the time of his article. Readers may remember Jakab’s quote—and the related lesson—long after they’ve forgotten which asset classes lag or outperform.
The column concluded by circling back to the Bible, saying “to everything there is a season,” a reference to a famous passage from Ecclesiastes. Nice symmetry there!