Your fund fact sheet (for mutual funds) or tear sheet (for hedge funds) is a basic building block in an investment firm’s content marketing blueprint.
Don’t screw it up. If you do, here’s how you’ve likely done it, and how to correct:
1. Burying the Lede
The lede (or lead) is the most important thing you want prospects to remember. It’s the critical part of the story. For example, is your fund’s investment style different? Do you have terrific performance? Then make sure it’s prominent. Prospective investors want to know, so say so up front, and make sure it’s prominent (and compliance-approved).
2. Looking Amateurish
Design matters. If you currently have $50 million or $500 million or $5 billion in assets under management – or aspire to – your fact sheets should not look they were created by a clip art monger or with a uniformly dull universal template.
The fact sheet is part of your brand. Make it look unique and distinct from your competitors, and professional, consistent with your brand image. On the other hand, if you manage the Cheapskate Balanced Fund or Hunky Dory Asset Advisor LLC, a budget fact sheet might fit with your brand strategy.
3. Cramming Too Much Data In
A fact sheet is not a pitch book, not an FAQ, not a broadside, nor a prospectus or private placement memorandum. Don’t try to put too much in; you may have a super Sortino Ratio and a comforting Calmar Ratio, but if your prospective investors are unlikely to make an allocation decision based on certain sophisticated metrics, well then include them out. (Include them if your audience may find these factors determinative.)
A fact sheet is a bonsai tree of sales points, biographical data, performance history, distinguishing features and benefits, disclosure text (lots of disclosure text)…and fund facts.
White space is your friend, and too much information can be your foe.
4. Using a Database Report as Your Fact Sheet
Don’t do it. Some managers subscribe to data base firms that provide a tremendous research service, and also provide basic data sheets. But their logo, not yours, will be on it. Is this what you want if you are looking to raise multi-millions in assets?
5. Including Hypothetical Returns
Starting a new fund? Don’t use back-tested returns. Your compliance department, legal team, FINRA, and other regulators are likely to agree. Plus few investors think that hypothetical returns can become actual returns. Plus they don’t like them. Plus performance doesn’t necessarily sell – your story and you will suffice, if you have a great story.
Hypotheticals may also cost a lot of money to compute; the cost for accounting firms to compute them may surprise you. So don’t use hypos. Instead, consider selling the investment categories’ returns vs. other categories. And in short order, you’ll have actual returns.
6. Expecting Too Much
The best fact sheets tell a compelling sales story, but don’t expect prospects to invest based on just the facts. The average number of touches from initial contact to close is, according to Salesforce, between five and 12. Only 2% of sales were made on the first contact. Different touch points can include calls, downloads, email exchanges, phone conversations, and in-person meetings to make the sale.
7. Forgetting to Include Contact Information
Who are your prospects going to call after you have whetted their appetite? Too many fact sheets leave out all or some of the basics – an email address, a phone number, a website, and/or contact name. (This is not you, of course.)