BEFORE I started IR Web Report and began helping companies use the web to communicate more effectively with investors, I produced plain English materials that made complex financial and investing concepts understandable to the general public.
It’s probably the hardest work I have done in my career. You can literally spend hours, days, and even weeks trying to find the best way to explain concepts like P/E multiples, discounted future cash flows, Alpha, Beta, or even simple things like asset allocation in ways that resonate with busy ordinary people.
So I have a lot of admiration for Jonathan Jarvis who put together the following plain English video explanation of the credit crisis as part of his thesis work in the Media Design Program, a graduate studio at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
In the video, he tackles complex subjects like sub-prime mortgages, collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps and puts then in a form anyone can understand.
We hardly ever see this kind of material on investor relations websites or in online annual reports, but it can be extremely effective when it’s done well.