As an RIA or registered rep, you probably already share investment commentary with your clients and prospects. But what if you could get a better reaction from your clients to that commentary? Or if you could make the writing process less painful? Creating a standardized process for your investment commentary can achieve both goals.
Every time you stop to make a decision about your investment commentary, you delay the process of completing it. Plus, you run the risk that you’ll make the wrong decision. This is why creating a process is powerful.
Below I share my ideas for a process that’ll make writing your quarterly investment commentary easier and more effective.
Step 1. Collect ideas and materials
Don’t wait until the day after the quarter ends to think about your commentary. Instead, as soon as one quarter ends, start collecting ideas and materials for the next quarter. Store them in one easily found location. Depending on your preferences, it could be a manila folder, Microsoft Word file, a program such as Evernote or OneNote, or even a mind map that allows you to insert links and attach files.
Not sure what direction you’d like to go in? Try mind mapping. I find it’s great for generating ideas because it can take me in unexpected directions. The unexpected can help your commentary to stand out from other people’s commentary.
Listen to the questions that your clients, prospects and referral sources ask. They know better than anyone what they care about. Answer their questions in your commentary. For example, they want to know how market conditions affect their portfolios and how you are adjusting their portfolios to those conditions. Focusing on what your readers care about will make your commentary more compelling. That helps you convert casual readers into fans and, eventually, clients.
Perhaps you use commentary provided by your broker-dealer or some other third party. In that case, add value by writing about how their content relates to your audience. For example, take their bland market observations and describe how they affect long-term retirement investors or investors who are in the asset allocations that you recommend.
Step 2. Organize your ideas before you write
When you organize your ideas before you write, your words flow more efficiently and will require less editing later on. Again, I like mind mapping as a tool. Getting the map’s bird’s eye perspective on my ideas helps me to recognize patterns in my information. Those patterns can become a blueprint for your commentary.
As you review your ideas, ask “Why will my readers care about this?” Make that theme run throughout your piece.