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“No, what I meant was…” Interpreting fund manager euphemisms

The Fund Manager

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Given time, most industries develop a jargon which allows participants to exude a professional glow and some degree of intellectual superiority when addressing outsiders (especially when poised to charge for their services). This is notably true of the financial services industry generally, and never more so than within fund management. Fund managers must communicate with their investors on a regular basis, not always at times of their choosing… which ideally would be on the odd occasion that things have gone well. As a consequence, it has been necessary to develop a language that appears to convey professional excellence, perspicacity and high value-added when the reality tends to the mediocre. Fund managers are world leaders in the deployment of euphemisms… by way of example, don’t expect to read “sorry, we had a bad month/quarter/year/decade/career”, expect “this is a momentum driven market” or “the rise of passive investing is distorting market behaviour” or “the political environment has proved unpredictable” or “we have rebalanced the portfolio” or “once rationality has been restored” or “our investment horizon is noticeably longer than the market’s”.

This is our First XV of fund managers’ euphemisms… and translations.

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