The Big Picture in financial writing

When you think about creative writing, you think about fancy writing and imaginative use of vocabulary and language to make wonderful masterpieces, but when it comes to financial writing, you don’t need to be a Shakespeare!

What is important is that you make a connection with the reader in a way that the latter doesn’t need to read everything to understand what you are saying. Let me elaborate. When you’re writing a financial report, it usually has an audience that are busy people working in corporations, investors, investment houses, portfolio managers and common people who are not very well-versed in finance. So, you have to convey your point through illustrative means, i.e. pictures, charts and graphs and make it a point to use language that could be understood by others who don’t have a finance background.

The beauty of an analyst report comes when a reader is able to read through the high points of the entire text in less than 2 minutes discerning what is important for the company and finally deciding to read further or not. That essentially is the success of that analyst. You don’t have to come out with a “BUY” or “SELL” recommendation every time you write a report, however, you must be sure about what you are talking. Once you convey things and perspectives on the company in an easy language, but also include further information for the technical/sophisticated investors, you can be expected to be doing a reasonable job. This work could turn into an outstanding one only in the case when there is quality and forethought behind your assumptions.  So always be careful on what you assume, because the results come out of your assumptions only. The assumptions should make sense when you look at the big picture for the business model of the company you’re writing about. Link the assumptions to the big picture to see if those are reasonable.

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