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Every discourse community upholds specific values which, although unspoken, form the backbone of the community. Finance as a professional field does not play an exemption to such universal rule. Terms like due diligence, portfolio analysis, and risk and return never leave the mouths of the financial discourse community members. Therefore, the professional lexicon jargon defines the boundaries of the financial community. Whether operating in the Wall Street trading in the hyped technology and biotechnology stacks or somewhere in Texas dealing with pink sheets, the bottom line is that all members of the financial discourse community understand the same rules and play by them. From the analysis of the discourse community, one has several lessons to derive for future finance success. The financial discourse community is guided by numbers, which always remain particulate in nature, meaning that a finance professional is either correct or wrong. This paper addresses the lessons learnt from the study of the financial discourse community through interviewing and reviewing articles common for the community.
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Every discourse community is defined by a specific discursive practices. In finance, the application and explanation of numbers is the major duty. An investor approaches the table with his money and meets the finance professional with ideas and advice on how to maximize the investor’s wealth. Basically, every idea involves the numerical expression of the risk and return factors that accompany the investment option. The statistical models and graphs are used to explain variations in the rates of risk and return while crude figures such as the Dow Jones index clarify parameters of interest to the discourse community. As a rule of the thumb, a 10% return on investment in the New York Stock Exchange will remain the same even if computed by an investor trading at the Chicago commodities market. The bottom line is that finance, accounting and numbers application are inseparable and particular. Therefore, the finance professional should be knowledgeable about and accurate with ratios, financial predictions and market behavior.
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A case study of the Berkshire Hathaway community brings out the point that to a finance discourse community, the money rather than the appearance counts more. Every financial analyst would criticize the appearance of the website, which is allied to a dollar multi-billionaire Warren Buffet. However, from the financial discourse community perspective, focusing on the technicalities of the website would result in the lost labor hours and resources. An investor investigates and discerns available information before making a financial commitment to avoid the lost opportunities of the dead capital. Thus, such phenomenon explains why successful Warren Buffet would never get concerned about the website as long as the company attracts serious investors keen on growing wealth. Alibaba’s IPO case presents a similar scenario. Despite not being familiar to many people in the world, Jack Ma built a company which became the subject of the world’s largest IPO in the history having sold about 15% of the company’s share in a single day. Moreover, the organization elevated the proprietor to the position of the world’s richest man in a matter of weeks.
The financial discourse community is always guided by market information and the more information one side possesses, the better placed they are in making sound financial decisions. The information asymmetry concept captures in what the financial discourse community terms as the efficient market hypothesis. In brief, the market can have the strong, semi-strong, or weak efficiency forms, whereby information accessibility decreases with the efficiency and arbitrage profits rise in the opposite direction. The article on Warren Buffet’s acquisition of Van Tuyl Group includes no nummbers and appears to be just a piece of the daily news. The same claim can be made with regards to Alibaba’s IPO and the merger between the US Airways and American Airlines, which remains true only with the general public in mind. To the financial discourse community the information acts as an eye-opener and an important tool in investment decision making. The market’s ability to synthesize the appropriate financial information varies, and the capacity of the financial discourse community to synthesize the information gives the members a competitive advantage.
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The financial discourse group is always guided by the professional code of ethics. The ethical code includes the regulations put in place by oversight bodies, work ethics enforced by professional bodies, and personal ethics defined by the individual, which at times determine whether a person survives in the field. Practicing in the financial markets involves dealing with skilled players and the temptation to use the professional skills to enrich oneself forgetting the central agenda is always a temptation. The agency theory explains that sometimes people’s personal interests overshadow the interests of the equity holders, which results in the agency conflict. During such moments the experts such as accountants and financial controllers in organizations may use their skills to manipulate financial data. The result of such operations is that one party gains at the expense of another, which is an unfair and unethical endeavor. The 2008/2009 financial crunch represents such scenario, where personal interests had adverse effects necessitating the tightening of control measures. Therefore, practicing finance and accounting professionals are required to be individually and collectively ethical in their dealings as well as possess professional certification and accreditation. In conclusion, the ethical framework defines the most distinctive boundaries of the financial discourse community.
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