Business Writing Style Guide
While discussing new writing projects with potential clients, I am frequently asked which business writing style guide I follow. While I’ve read the style guides from several publishers, I don’t rigorously follow any; style guides tend to be too long and rules too obscure to for me to consistently remember.
For my own business writing style guide, I’ve developed an amalgam of what I feel are common-sense high-level British and American writing rules. I’ve consolidated them here in an informal, concise guide that I can point clients and co-workers to when I’m asked next time.
Since my writing style shares characteristics of both British and American, this document can also serve as a guide to the differences between both styles of writing. Continue reading
Example RFP Response
The following is an example RFP response that I wrote in response to a question that I was given as part of a hiring test. The answer is entirely hypothetical, but based on actual experience at prior employers.
1.1 Describe the risk management strategy used by the vendor and outline any software tools used in support.
Answer: Continue reading
Colin Powell’s 13 Rules of Leadership
Colin Powell, former NSA advisor, commander of the US Army, and Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, published a simple list of practical management guidelines, referred to as Colin Powell’s 13 Rules of Leadership. This simple, well balanced advice emphasizes calm, optimism, generosity, fearlessness, and careful consideration. This matches my own approach to management, regardless of whether my role in the group is as a true manager or sole contributor. Continue reading
When to Start Collecting Social Security
The biggest challenge for Americans who are approaching retirement age face is deciding when to start collecting Social Security. The choices are whether to start collecting Social Security earlier and receive smaller payments, or wait to start collecting it later and receive larger payments.
Social Security Statements
The amount of Social Security you are eligible to start collecting depends on how much you’ve paid into it over the course of your working life. The Social Security Administration will send a statement to you every 5 years from ages 25-60, and, after that, 3 months prior to your birthday, that shows your earnings record and future benefits estimate. You may also check your account online through the MY SSA web site. Continue reading
What is an Earnings Surprise?
Casual investors need to know what an earnings surprise is, and how it may affect their investment decisions.
How are earnings announced?
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires companies to publish their unaudited financial results in quarterly statements (called a 10-Q) no later than 35-45 days after the end of each quarter, and an annual 10-K statement at the end of the financial year. Larger companies tend to present their quarterly results via publicly accessible conference call and the web, along with other relevant information (profit and loss, operating expenses, issues that affected earnings, future plans, etc.).
Firms may submit a non-timely (NT) filing if results must be postponed. The NT filing gives firms an additional five days to submit. Financial analysts typically consider an NT filing to be an indicator of trouble for the firm, and lower expectations, and projections of stock price, as a result. Continue reading