ACTIONABLE ADVICE FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS: Newsletters and Commentaries Focused on Investment Strategy

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Guidelines for Guest Submissions

Advisor Perspectives is dedicated to maintaining an authoritative and outspoken voice. When we evaluate prospective feature articles for possible publication, we are seeking new information, a new way of viewing investment strategy decisions or a cogent explanation of an aspect of market dynamics.

What makes a great article

Feature articles should have a strong point of view. We encourage the use of first person and the use of good examples, often with a strong anecdote opening the piece.

Articles should be examples of how an organization has succeeded in the steps you're going to describe or how it has failed in ignoring your advice. Drill down to give our readers tactical details showing how they, too, may follow that advice. By advising you to provide details, we do not mean that you should enumerate best practice steps in a series of bullet points. Instead, focus on one point and expand on it. How would this work in the real world? How has it worked in the real world? How should it work?

Write as though you're telling your article at a party: "I had this one client today who just didn't get it. I know that his performance would improve if he'd only do x, y and z, instead of a, b and c. Let me tell you what I mean." Focus on the people involved. What did they do? What should they have done?

You'll find that word pictures truly are worth a thousand words (or 750) and help make your point succinctly.

Unless you make it clear that an example is hypothetical, it must be true, but company names may be kept confidential. (This is particularly helpful to avoid competitive fears and allow you to go in depth).

Please use active voice and try to avoid the passive voice as much as possible. In other words, instead of saying, "It is believed," say, "I believe." Active voice makes your articles stronger and more understandable. Avoid references to unnamed "industry experts."

Imagine you are writing to a financial advisor, either operating as an independent Registered Investment Advisor or working for a wirehouse or independent broker/dealer. When you write to one person, it brings you closer to every reader. Everyone who reads your article will imagine you are writing directly to him or her.

We encourage you to be up front about your own expertise. Our readers want to know the basis of your opinions, so it is a good idea to include an introduction. We're looking for something along the lines of: "In my 25 years' experience as a bubble-gum chewer, I have never known of a type of gum that won't stick to the bottom of shoes."

Advisor Perspectives is vendor-neutral, and you cannot use your article to promote a product or service.

You should cite all your statistics and all quotes, including those that were not made directly to you, including as much information as possible: the date, author name, publication and article name. Work this information into the body of your article, in parentheses, if need be, but please avoid footnotes. Feel free to include hyperlinks to your sources.

You may include pictures or graphs.

We generally do not accept articles that have been previously published. If your article has been previously published, please let us know when you send it to us.

Logistics

Articles should be between 500 and 1,000 words (750 words is a good length). If your piece is too long, you probably aren't getting specific enough or you're trying to cover too much territory. However, we do not have an absolute maximum – or minimum – article length.

About you

Include a short, 50-word biography at the bottom of the article and attach—do not embed—a photo to your email.

The biography should include your current position, company and email address and may include previous experience, publications, college and postgraduate degrees and place of residence—space permitting. We can link to businesses and email addresses from the biography.

The photo should be a color headshot without frames or borders. A JPEG file is preferred. We will resize it. It does not need to be high resolution.

Proposal

We encourage a query, rather than a finished feature, to make sure your proposed piece fits our style. However, if you already have a finished article, you may send it instead of a proposal.

Email the proposal to the . The proposal should be brief and within the email—not in a Word or text file attachment—and it should include:

  • Your name
  • Your company
  • Your title
  • Your email address.
  • The topic you are proposing
  • A working title
  • A sentence or two stating your argument
  • The real-life example you will use to drive your argument
  • When you can provide a first draft

Send it all as an email, not an attachment, please.

Here's an example:

Topic: How to Interview a Prospective Fund Manager

Author: Bob Smith, XYZ Advisors, a Northern California financial advisory firm, email bobsmith@xyzadvisors.com

Working Title: 10 Questions to Ask a Prospective Fund Manager

Premise: In my 25 years as a financial advisor, I have interviewed many fund managers, and have found that asking certain questions allows me to identify whether or not these managers have a distinctive advantage that will allow them to deliver alpha.

Example: One of the questions I ask is whether – and how – the manager evaluates the performance of securities after they have been sold from the portfolio. This allows me determine whether the manager has an appropriate sell discipline.

Submission and approval

The editor will decide whether to accept the proposal. We publish weekly, and we will work with you to determine an appropriate time for publication.

First drafts should be emailed to as a Word attachment. Submission does not constitute acceptance for publication.

Once you've submitted your article, the editor will work with you to shape the article into a format that meets our standards. If it does not, the editor will let you know what you need to do to bring it up to our standards. Please be prepared to revisit the article; allow time for feedback and rewriting.

You are encouraged to write a main title (or headline), but we have the final say over the main title and subheads.

Note that not every article makes the cut. The articles we choose to publish will be those that conform to our guidelines and are the best submissions.

You will have an opportunity to approve the final version, subject to our copyediting, by a deadline well before the publication date.

If your article is published, we will convert it into HTML. So please:

  • Do not use special formatting in your documents.
  • Make sure they are single-spaced, with one blank line between paragraphs.
  • Remove corporate headers and footers.
  • Please turn off "smart" quotes and apostrophes.
  • Don't indent paragraphs.
  • Close up your em dashes.
  • Send figures as separate graphic attachments (you may leave them in your Word document to show placement); don't embed figures in your email or document.
  • Note any web URLs in parentheses.

Here are some basic style notes:

  • We don't hyphenate "email."
  • We lowercase the "W" in "web" and make "web site" two words.
  • We do not use a serial comma.
  • We uppercase company names (unless the company does not capitalize its name) but not job titles.
  • We use percent signs only in tables; otherwise we spell out "percent."
  • We use U.S. spelling and punctuation.
  • Commas and periods are inside quotes.
  • We italicize article and book titles as well as magazine and newspaper names.
  • We spell out numbers under 10, except in percentages and currency.
  • No sentences should end in a preposition
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