Theory has its
place, but an example often makes learning something much
easier. In many areas, an
example of a mistake or poor quality
is an even more effective teacher than examples of the correct
technique so here is such an example to learn from.
found on a website as their description of what they do – it
took a few sentences to get any idea of what they do and even
then it was hard to translate. Acme is not their real name…
Acme is a high conviction asset manager comfortable with
maintaining overweight and underweight positions relative to
industry benchmarks. … provides a niche service to wealthy
investors and institutions seeking to diversify away from the
generic passive investment space. Through the employment of its
proprietary investment and risk management models, Acme advises
clients at a broader strategic level…[and was founded with the]
purpose of offering a uniquely distinct service in the area of
investment advice and risk management, a value offering centred
around a proprietary timing and risk management model.
impressed by their long words and
up-to-the-minute-catchphrase usage? Nor was I. It really feels
like they are trying hard to impress people rather than give a
genuine message, and it left me feeling their service would be
impressive rather than of substance, too. Or maybe they have to
impress with empty words as they have nothing else...
To me, the message
is ‘we don’t follow normal trends for managing your money and
are only interested if you are rich [and foolishly impressed by
big words]’. Nowhere is there any reason to trust them or their
approach to investments so it has no appeal to me.
introduction would focus on how the investor is helped by this
company – something more like ‘you will get better returns
without a higher risk factor by using our strategies that
generic passive investment approaches’ or ‘we give you
strategies to help you build your wealth through
It is long and full of words that many
people would have to think about. If you are spending time
thinking about each word, you are not getting the overall
message so the power of the message is diminished or lost
completely. This could be improved by
- Use commonly
understood words and your message is understood quickly - ‘Move
away’ is much simpler than ‘diversify away’.
- Use a word
instead of a phrase if there is no need of the phrase – ‘purpose
of offering a … service’ works better as ‘to offer a … service’
tautology – unique and distinct both indicate something
different so why use both words together?
Minimise the use
of jargon, especially jargon that has a different meaning for
most people – overweight and underweight refer to kilograms for
most people, not an investment balancing strategy.
- Use real
terms instead of meaningless catch phrases – ‘the generic
passive investment space’ probably means ‘a generic passive
investment approach’ or ‘generic passive investments’.
leaves too many questions in my mind. For example, “advices at a
broader strategic level’ so do they just give advice or manage
my investments? Do they give broad strategies and let me figure
out my own specific strategies and actions?
Normally I would
rewrite this example to read better, but there is so much I
don’t know from this example it’s a bit hard to write a good
introduction for ‘Acme’!