Do Not Advertise Your Investment Services Like This

by Johnny Debacle

This is from an actual Yahoo Publisher’s Network ad I saw when I clicked through yesterday’s report on AT&T / Cingular (if you click on the article you will probably still see the ad at the top):

Goofy Investing Ideas
Investment Ideas that are not based on sound principles.

Here is the screenshot I took:

If someone described that ad as “Perhaps not as effective as it could have been”, I would pause, squint (this makes you, and by extension your opinion, seem smarter) then state that “I do not disagree.”

Things Not to Do in Investment Services Ad

  1. Indicate that your portfolio managers have no track record.
  2. Mention your analysts’ propensity for working while drunk or addled by absinthe (the real kind, from the Czech Republic).
  3. Describe your ideas as “goofy”.
  4. Use the word “goofy” in any context.
  5. Represent that women will be making investment decisions.
  6. Mention positions which are “not based on sound principles”.
  7. Speak of your past investments in a land war in Southeast Asia.

This seems like a pretty easy to follow set of rules, mostly guided by common sense and thousands of years of traditional misogyny.

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