Dear Investment Writing subscriber

Happy New Year!

I hope that your 2021 is off to a great start.

What are you looking forward to this year? I imagine that you’re eager to shed the constraints of social distancing once vaccinations have been broadly administered and the pandemic is receding. I’d like to see an end to sickness and suffering. I'd also like to meet with friends and colleagues, eat out, visit museums, and travel more than I did last year.

In my professional life, I’m looking forward to writing and editing more white papers, investment commentary, and blog posts, as well as editing the NAPFA Advisor.

Free mini e-book for you
On January 12, I’ll email you a link to download your free copy of Investment Writing Top Tips 2021. It includes some of my best recent tips. Watch your email for its arrival!

Quit using “as such”!
Recently, I’ve noticed several of my clients using—and abusing—the phrase “as such.” “But why can’t I use ‘as such’ instead of ‘therefore’?” explains why they’re wrong. The Columbia Journalism Review agrees in “Test your mastery of ‘therefore’ and ‘as such’.”

I find that “accordingly” or “thus” also may work as substitutions for “as such.”

Buy Nothing groups
Are your clients trying to save money or to lessen the amount of waste that they create? I recently discovered the Buy Nothing Project, which creates hyperlocal gifting groups on Facebook. Members can post items they don’t want and then select who receives their item. Members can also indicate their interest in receiving any item. This is particularly good for families with children who outgrow clothes and other items. 

I’ve donated some books and decorative items. It’s easier for me to purge some of my things when I know that someone wants them. When multiple members have expressed interest, I’ve used the free Wheel of Names website to pick a winner. I’ve made some nice acquisitions, including a pot of parsley that now sits on my kitchen windowsill and a jar of sourdough starter that is challenging my baking skills. The woman with the sourdough starter received far more requests than she could fill. She kindly grew enough starter to satisfy all requests. I’ve seen a lot of kindness like this.

During the pandemic, the people in my group are doing contactless “porch pickups,” so transfers are safe from a public health standpoint.

Recent topics 
During the past month I’ve blogged about media platforms, being a better listener, writing with clarity, and Mistake Monday. You can read the start of my post about subordinate clauses below.
Best wishes,
If you’re a boss, you may think the more subordinates you have, the better. But if those subordinates are subordinate clauses, too many subordinates will sap the power of your writing.

Subordinate clause defined
A subordinate clause—also known as a dependent clause—is “… a group of words that contains a subject and verb but does not express a complete thought,” according to the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). As OWL notes, “A dependent clause cannot be a sentence.”

Subordinating conjunctions, such as “for, as, since, therefore, hence, consequently, though, due to, provided that, because, unless, once, while, when, whenever, where, wherever, before, and after” often alert you to the existence of a subordinate clause, says the Grammarly Blog’s discussion of subordinate clauses.

As Joe Moran says in First You Write a Sentence, “The subordinate clauses are servants to the main clause, and the sentence makes sense only when you have untied it all.”

The problem with subordinate clauses
Subordinate clauses are...
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“Some people can write about anything — investments, squirrels or design — and make it interesting.”

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