Investment commentaries involve content from a wide variety of sources including your communications, product, investments and fund accounting teams. They also need numerous reviews and approvals, and have non-negotiable timelines.
That’s why investment commentaries can be a stressful project for many people. To make the process as streamlined as possible, it helps to compile some key information in one document – and as early in the process as possible.
Compile key information in one document – and as early in the process as possible.
It’s worth taking the time to create a reliable reference list that includes full and correct information for things that need to be precise, or that need to be checked often. We call it the Fund Info List and here are some important pieces of information to include:
The Fund Info List
Essential components of the Fund Info List include, but are not limited to:
Use exact names. Is it Short Term Bond Fund or Short-Term Bond Fund? Canadian Income Growth Fund or Canadian Income and Growth Fund? Be sure to update this list with any new mandates or name changes. And don’t forget that the Simplified Prospectus is often the best place to confirm full names.
Again, be precise. Index names, such as the BofA Merrill Lynch 1-3 Year Treasury Index, are very difficult to check against external sources as every company seems to apply its own style. Total return indexes, which are sometimes shortened to TR, are also notoriously inconsistent.
Portfolio manager and sub-advisor names
Keep an exact list and update it regularly, since sub-advisors do change fairly often and companies’ legal names do as well.
Again, the more exact the list, the easier it will be to cross-reference your information. If your company offers Funds, Classes and Pools, this becomes an even higher priority.
This information will help your writers know how to position the attribution information in the commentaries.
What to do with your Fund Info List
You’ve put together all correct info. Now what?
Be careful to allow only a few individuals at your company to update this list when necessary, as it loses its value if it’s not reliable.
For more info on creating a high-quality, useful style guide, read Strengthen your brand with a style guide .
And remember: it’s not just the facts but also the language you use that matters! So, if using the right language is a concern, read Using plain language in your financial writing.