In the topsy-turvy world of contrite investment apology, split-second recognition of the language in a "Dear Investor" letter bearing bad tidings can mean the difference between slow malingering death in the face of debilitating investor lockups, or a quick escape to the islands where you will also conveniently avoid the jealous rage of your (former) fellow limiteds (and the phrase "fraudulent transfer").
To sharpen your skills, and now that 2008 is drawing to a close, we bring you this DealBreaker quiz on the top ranking Dear Investor letter prose for the year. Match the prose to the firm and the world will be your oyster (in this case "world" is substituted for "present" and "oyster" is exchanged with "Attractive DealBreaker 'don't short me bro!' mug."
"There may be residual assets in Madoff to be
"We would like to think that you will remember the returns that we have delivered in the past...."
"For most of the past 3 1/2 hears we have felt good about the job we have done in delivering returns...."
"We believe ... the steel industry will earn more than the public generally believes in 2009 and 2010."
"Of course we are totally biased, but we believe that if we continue to get the support from investors as we always have had, we will fall into this category."
"This represents a month-to-date net decrease of -9.44% from the final October 31, 2008 net asset value per share of US$649.64 and a year-to-date net return of -43.66%."
"The low hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale, and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking."
"We recognize how a suspension impacts our investors, especially those with current financial obligations of their own to meet."
This conference call may not be recorded, rebroadcast or transcribed without the expressed, written consent of [firm].
"We do strongly urge all of you to please keep our communications confidential; it is not in the fund's nor our joint interest to have details widely leaked to the outside world, particularly in a dangerous environment."