communications and content > Blog > Uncategorised > How readable is investment content in 2020?
  • David Butcher
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Investment management businesses publish content and thought leadership materials to educate and inform clients, prospective clients and their advisers. 

This is a broad audience – from consumers to financial professionals – but there’s a problem. In fact there are five. 

1. It’s far too complex. 

It has more in common with hard-to-understand academic papers and, as we reveal in this year’s report, some of the “impossible to comprehend” Brexit documentation.

In fact, almost a third of investment content in our survey is as hard (or harder) to read than the Government’s UK Internal Market bill – the one that proposes to break international law. 

2. It could all be so much more readable. 

Investment content remains a lot less readable than the most popular and successful titles in the financial media. 

And, as we also uncover, it’s a country mile from some of the most resonant writing in history: the great speeches and the best-selling personal finance book of all time.

We include these items because it is absolutely possible to communicate complex ideas with simplicity. After all, this is how we at Communications and Content make our money. 

But that’s not all. This year we also found that investment content … 

3. … is far too long for the time people spend reading. 

At two-and-a-half times the length of a media article, the average item of investment content struggles to fit comfortably into the limited time people have available to read.

4. … is rarely directed at the reader. 

Most material is about the writer and their employer. Few articles focus on the needs of the reader. Does the industry have a tin ear? 

5. … is scandalously mislabelled. 

Still. Content aimed at the investing public tends to be more complex than content aimed at people who get paid to invest. Yes, you read that correctly. We didn’t make it up – and, for an industry that has attracted criticism for its opacity, you couldn’t make it up. 

We think too much of the industry’s material places readers in the pain zone – when they’d rather be in the pleasure zone. 

We detail all this and more in the latest 2020 Readability Report.

If you care as much as we do about the business of investing other peoples’ money – a sector filled with smart, savvy and sensible people – if you want to know the answers, and if you like a good story, please request a copy of our report.. 

You won’t be disappointed. 

Author: David Butcher

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