Chris Davis is an investment communications & marketing manager at a large national asset management firm.
How did you end up as a business writer and editor?
I got my master’s degree in English at the University of Connecticut. I was an English professor after school, but for financial reasons I had to change jobs. While reading a newspaper, I saw an ad for a company that was in need of a writer. I applied for it and got a job as an economics writer. You will find that business people cannot write, and they need writers to write for them. I have been writing about economics for 20 years now and do not see myself switching my career any time soon.
With no business background, what steps have you taken to understand economics?
My biggest challenge was learning the terminology and teaching myself. I read a lot of self-starter books to grasp full understanding on the subject. I spent a lot of time reading about economics and the stock market in the Wall Street Journal. There is something new to talk about every day, which has kept me interested over the 20 years.
What specific topics do you write about in your firm?
I do a 12-page brochure of what’s going to happen in the economic year focusing on stock market, products, services, management funds and unemployment rates. I am a ghostwriter for a chief equity strategist. I sit down with the strategist and interview them on what’s going to happen in the world of economics and then write it.
Does it bother you to be a ghostwriter and not see your name on any of your work?
No, it doesn’t bother me because it’s what I do for a living. It’s a different type of writing. A novelist would care, but that’s not this kind of writing.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I’m constantly learning something new and writing about new events. The economic and financial backdrop changes constantly, but the need to inform our clients remains a constant. As a result, every day I need to educate myself about what’s happening in the world and work with my colleagues to figure out what new developments mean for investors. That’s a challenging but deeply rewarding task.
How important is it to be interested in what you are writing?
It certainty helps. Twenty years ago I wouldn’t have been interested in economics, but over time I became interested in it. I wouldn’t have stuck to it this long if I didn’t have an interest for it.
What advice would you give to young writers who are moving into the working world?
Don’t underestimate how important it is to have writing and editing skills. Being self-motivated and taking on more responsibilities will make you more successful. I have never seen someone ask for more responsibilities and been told no.
—Emma Schmalz, ’16