Numbers can be complex. Condensing months of volatility or price activity from an asset class or sector, or explaining performance in terms of percentages, gains, losses, and returns and allocations in a fund’s total program or within a single portfolio is not only complex task, but the explainer must articulate the information in a clear and simple way so that the client or person receiving the information can comprehend.
However, this is not always easy to accomplish solely using language.
And that’s where data visualization comes in.
Not everyone learns and absorbs information the same way. Many people are “visual learners” – this means that an image or graphical depiction of a situation can help them understand and comprehend the information better than, say, a numeric formula, a paragraph explanation, or a 3-minute lecture can.
As kids in elementary school are taught using visuals to help depict math lessons, as adults the majority of us are programmed to better retain information when visuals are used to translate data.
So, let’s look at data visualization as it is used in two key materials often used to present a strategy’s story and performance.
Data Visualizations in Tear Sheets
Fund managers and money managers have the special job of answering to clients in reporting on program and portfolio performance.
And communicating this information clearly and concisely is critical to your success as a fund manager or money manager. What happens when a client becomes confused is that they begin to doubt your abilities as a fund manager, a communicator, and a trustworthy steward of their finances.
Fund managers or money managers who use tear sheets to communicate monthly performance statistics to clients and prospects often include a variety of data visualizations to support their key performance indicators.
Tear sheets can visually convey portfolio performance, allocations, industry sectors and weightings, Sharpe ratios, VAMI, annual returns, monthly returns, and more. Grouping these key statistics in a one or two-page tear sheet and displaying the data in line charts, bar charts, tables, and pie charts can provide a more complete performance snapshot – in a simple, clean format.
Here are some examples of popular tear sheet graphic formats:
A tabular format graphic.
Examples of pie chart visuals.
A bar chart format.
A multi-line chart.
It really is amazing to think of the vast quantity and scope of information that can be represented in a single visual.
Pitchbooks Use Graphic Visualization to Tell Your Funds’ Story
When presenting an investment program or fund strategy to potential investors, fund managers rely on data visualization to help articulate the fund’s story, outline the unique characteristics of their program, display performance data, help the potential investor visualize their approach in the markets – and ultimately—these supporting visuals will help build AUM.
In a fund pitchbook, displaying (rather than describing) the different asset classes that the strategy focuses on can elegantly convey key information:
Specific market opportunities can also be presented visually so that the investor can immediately see how and when the fund plans to strategically pinpoint entry and exit points (and, wow, is that a TON of information) that can be boiled down into shapes, lines, and objects.
Graphics can also be used to show a strategy’s specific decision-making process in rather simple visuals.
Whether you’re a trader extracting trend information from a chart to determine your next position, or a fund manager seeking to highlight your performance, the power of data visualization not only helps convey investment and financial information in a clear and transparent way, but its usage can reflect on your standing as an effective communicator and money manager.
If you’re interested to adding graphical elements to your tear sheet, or are considering telling your own strategy’s story through an investor pitchbook, contact Gate 39 Media today or request samples of our tear sheets and/or professional pitchbooks.