Practical analysis for investment professionals

Contributor Guidelines

The goal of these guidelines is to provide a set of principles to keep in mind as you craft posts for Enterprising Investor (EI).

EI purpose and objective:

Written by professionals for investment professionals, the blog should deliver useful insights that help investment professionals make better decisions. To that end, each blog post should do the following:

  • Educate: Deliver practical analysis of current issues in investing and finance.
  • Curate: Elevate the most interesting and compelling work from the sea of opinions and research.
  • Contextualize: Provide context for and explain in simple English the more academic research.
  • Provoke: Encourage debate and an exchange of ideas. Strive to entertain the readers and augment their perspective.

Initial advice from the editorial team:

  • Put the reader first: We are writing for very busy investment professionals. Not everything is worthy of being a blog post. Please be discerning and consider all of the following questions:

Is this piece teaching me (the member) something new? Has this issue already been covered?

Is this making me think about something I knew (or intuitively should know) in a different way?

Is the issue addressed in the piece a real one?

Does the piece provide information that helps investment professionals do their jobs?

Is the piece too obvious?

Is this piece too self-promotional?

  • Write in a conversational style, EI does not aim to be an academic journal.
  • Whenever possible, topics should relate back to the investment management industry.
  • Use the active rather than the passive voice.
  • Do not be repetitive – in word usage or in bringing up the same point over and over.
  • Use short words, short sentences, and short paragraphs.
  • Avoid jargon, clichés, or slang. Also avoid overuse of exclamation points.
  • Write concisely. No vague assertions — “some believe,” “some say that,” “market participants agree,” “it is our opinion.”
  • When writing a blog post from an event, don’t simply summarize the presentation or every word from the speaker’s mouth. Make sure to add context/analysis and to prioritize the most salient takeaways from the session.
  • Be cognizant of using gender-inclusive language.

Rules to keep in mind:

  • Keep it short: The ideal length for blog posts is 800 to 1000 words. The editors will return a overly long pieces for the author to tighten the writing or cut some text.
  • Get to the point: The most important information and your thesis should be included in the very first several paragraphs of your post. People have short attention spans. If it’s not clear where you are headed early, readers are likely to click away from your post.
  • Fact check all of your information:
    1. If you are citing facts and figures, link out to your sources. All facts must be backed up by reliable sources (Wikipedia or Brainyquote are not reliable sources), so include all cites. Remember: if a fact can’t be confirmed, it won’t be published.
    2. Check your quotes and attributions (Quote Investigator is a good place to start). Just because a phrase has entered the popular lexicon does not mean it was actually said — never merely repeat “quotes” from luminaries such as Einstein.
    3. Check your spelling, especially names, titles, and firms: Include the CFA designation if appropriate. Use the full, correct firm name. Please be careful when adding names, dates, figures, quotes, etc., to your posts. If we get these wrong, it can be embarrassing for you and the organization
    4. Be precise:  Don’t just say, for example, “the stock market fell 5%.”  Was it the Dow? The S&P? In what time period?
  • Edit yourself: Please do not do a stream of consciousness post and then simply turn it in. Read it as if it were someone else’s piece, and give it a tough edit.

What to avoid:

  • Promoting an agenda
  • Orchestrating a takedown
  • Making it personal or attacking

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