The investment fund Fact Sheet is the most basic marketing and communications hammer in an investment manager’s tool kit.

A fund Fact Sheet – often referred to as a flyer or throw-down by brokers, and as a tear sheet in the hedge fund world – is your opportunity to present your case.

Unlike the actor Jack Webb on TV’s Dragnet, an effective Fact Sheet does more than tell the facts – it sells your story.

Morningstar, BarclayHedge, Standard & Poor’s, FactRight and others provide detailed third party profiles and documents of investment product performance. Brokers rightly rely on these reports as factual filters.

The basic element you should cover include:

Tell a Story

Why though is your product unique, better, bigger, timelier, more nimble, less fattening than your competitors? Financial advisors and potential investors want to know.

So say so in your Fact Sheet.

The basic Fact Sheet format is typically no more than two pages long, often simply one page, and contains the usual checklist – investment objective, management style, manager bios, historical performance, portfolio holdings, and risk measures. And, of course, disclosure.

Financial advisors and investors crave brevity.

Related: How to Screw Up Your Fact Sheet

While past performance cannot predict future similar results, the simple fact sheet, positioned properly, is your fund’s calling card.

Why You?

Are you a go-anywhere hedge fund manager? A long/short expert? A boutique international mutual fund shop? A multi-distribution channel retirement plan provider? Or an expert in risk arbitrage? Your potential investors, regardless of your style, when they conduct their due diligence, will often have quantitative and qualitative risk screens. Qualitative screens will likely include:

  • Right Investment Strategy

  • Right Investment Niche

  • Right Time

The Fact Sheet is a condensed, pruned, and miniaturized adaption of your content, whether your website, pitch book, or email marketing campaigns. Make it stand out.

Design Elements

The use and placement of pictures, charts, graphs, fonts, text, colors – help emphasize what you want your audience to focus on. So many Fact Sheets are ill conceived and poorly designed. It doesn’t have to be yours.