Just curious what people like to read in outlooks? Which ones/styles do you prefer?
I do a fair amount of investment outlook ghost writing for varied investment professionals. I usually do this by having a discussion with the portfolio manager of how they look at the world, identify the key points they want to hit, fire back questions that probe how and why they think this, the degree of conviction, flesh out data to support those points, how best to present it via a mixture of charts, writing, and analogies.
I was reading Bill Gross’ latest letter (http://www.pimco.com/EN/Insights/Pages/Most-Medieval.aspx) and I enjoy it, but it rambles. So does John Maudlin’s, and many other well-known managers. They start by recalling some thought they had while talking about the cake at their granddaughter’s 4th birthday or something, and eventually - by the 10th paragraph - we get to something about how people are reducing their risk aversion, possibly unwisely.
Some clients want me to do a cut-and-dry “just present the data,” others want me to get more creative.
I definitely try to shoot for a middle ground. “just data” is just boring to look at - you won’t remember what it means without some colorful turn of phrase like “These EM bonds really are basically like CvM’s morning shower drain, but with less liquidity.” But I don’t particularly care about Bill Gross looking in the mirror and thinking about Michael Jackson and his ageing skin for 5 paragraphs.
I think Jeremy Grantham’s writer does a great job at GMO. They set up the context well, and then the data, and punch the lesson or idea.
I spend a lot of time on my writing, because I don’t like to write stuff that I wouldn’t want to have to read, or at least if I’m forced to read it, I try to make it go down smoothly.
Just curious what people like to read in outlooks? What styles do you prefer? Who do you like to read, and why them vs. someone else?