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Become An Investment Analyst

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Working As An Investment Analyst

  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $85,582

    Average Salary

What Does An Investment Analyst Do

Financial analysts provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments.

Duties

Financial analysts typically do the following:

  • Recommend individual investments and collections of investments, which are known as portfolios
  • Evaluate current and historical financial data
  • Study economic and business trends
  • Examine a company’s financial statements to determine its value
  • Meet with company officials to gain better insight into the company’s prospects
  • Assess the strength of the management team
  • Prepare written reports

Financial analysts evaluate investment opportunities. They work in banks, pension funds, mutual funds, securities firms, insurance companies, and other businesses. Financial analysts are also called securities analysts and investment analysts.

Financial analysts can be divided into two categories: buy-side analysts and sell-side analysts.

  • Buy-side analysts develop investment strategies for companies that have a lot of money to invest. These companies, called institutional investors, include mutual funds, hedge funds, insurance companies, independent money managers, and nonprofit organizations with large endowments, such as some universities.
  • Sell-side analysts advise financial services sales agents who sell stocks, bonds, and other investments.

Some analysts work for the business media or other research houses, which are independent from the buy and sell side.

Financial analysts generally focus on trends affecting a specific industry, geographical region, or type of product. For example, an analyst may focus on a subject area such as the energy industry, a world region such as Eastern Europe, or the foreign exchange market. They must understand how new regulations, policies, and political and economic trends may affect investments.

Investing is becoming more global, and some financial analysts specialize in a particular country or region. Companies want those financial analysts to understand the language, culture, business environment, and political conditions in the country or region that they cover.

The following are examples of types of financial analysts:

Portfolio managers select the mix of products, industries, and regions for their company’s investment portfolio. These managers are responsible for the overall performance of the portfolio. They are also expected to explain investment decisions and strategies in meetings with stakeholders.

Fund managers work exclusively with hedge funds or mutual funds. Both fund and portfolio managers frequently make buy or sell decisions in reaction to quickly changing market conditions.

Ratings analysts evaluate the ability of companies or governments to pay their debts, including bonds. On the basis of their evaluation, a management team rates the risk of a company or government not being able to repay its bonds.

Risk analysts evaluate the risk in investment decisions and determine how to manage unpredictability and limit potential losses. This job is carried out by making investment decisions such as selecting dissimilar stocks or having a combination of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds in a portfolio.

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How To Become An Investment Analyst

Financial analysts typically must have a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree is often required for advanced positions.

Education

Most positions require a bachelor’s degree. A number of fields of study provide appropriate preparation, including accounting, economics, finance, statistics, and mathematics. For advanced positions, employers often require a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or a master’s degree in finance. Knowledge of options pricing, bond valuation, and risk management are important.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the main licensing organization for the securities industry. It requires licenses for many financial analyst positions. Most of the licenses require sponsorship by an employer, so companies do not expect individuals to have these licenses before starting a job.

Certification is often recommended by employers and can improve the chances for advancement. An example is the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification from the CFA Institute. Financial analysts can become CFA certified if they have a bachelor’s degree, 4 years of qualified work experience, and pass three exams. Financial analysts can also become certified in their field of specialty.

Advancement

Financial analysts typically start by specializing in a specific investment field. As they gain experience, they can become portfolio managers, who select the mix of investments for a company’s portfolio. They can also become fund managers, who manage large investment portfolios for individual investors. A master’s degree in finance or business administration can improve an analyst’s chances of advancing to one of these positions.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Financial analysts must process a range of information in finding profitable investments.

Communication skills. Financial analysts must explain their recommendations to clients in clear language that clients can easily understand.

Computer skills. Financial analysts must be adept at using software packages to analyze financial data, see trends, create portfolios, and make forecasts.

Decisionmaking skills. Financial analysts must provide a recommendation to buy, hold, or sell a security.

Detail oriented. Financial analysts must pay attention to details when reviewing possible investments, as small issues may have large implications for the health of an investment.

Math skills. Financial analysts use mathematical skills when estimating the value of financial securities. 

To be successful, financial analysts must be motivated to seek out obscure information that may be important to the investment. Many work independently and must have self-confidence in their judgment.

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Investment Analyst Jobs

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Investment Analyst Career Paths

Investment Analyst
Senior Analyst Accounting Manager Assistant Controller
Assistant Treasurer
5 Yearsyrs
Portfolio Manager Assistant Vice President Risk Manager
Chief Risk Officer
10 Yearsyrs
Assistant Vice President Sales Vice President Business Development Director
Corporate Development Director
9 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Underwriter Risk Manager
Credit Risk Management Director
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Finance Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Controller
Finance Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Finance Consultant Co-Founder Trader
Fixed Income Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Portfolio Manager
Investments Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Property Manager Asset Manager
Manager, Asset Management
10 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Finance Manager Manager Finance Planning And Analysis
Manager, Corporate Development
8 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Manager, Finance Analysis
8 Yearsyrs
Finance Consultant Senior Business Analyst Planning Manager
Manager-Strategic Planning
8 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Program Manager Portfolio Manager
Senior Portfolio Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Assistant Vice President Finance Consultant Senior Finance Analyst
Treasury Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Finance Analyst Controller Assistant Vice President
Vice President And Portfolio Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Analyst Research Manager Research Director
Vice President Research
9 Yearsyrs
Portfolio Manager Senior Project Manager Vice President, Business Development
Vice President, Corporate Development
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Finance Analyst Assistant Vice President Vice President And Manager
Vice President, Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Investment Analyst?

Investment Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

64.5%

Female

28.9%

Unknown

6.6%
Ethnicity

White

51.9%

Asian

19.0%

Hispanic or Latino

13.7%

Black or African American

10.3%

Unknown

5.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

33.3%

Mandarin

13.2%

French

10.8%

Chinese

10.8%

Russian

4.5%

Hindi

3.5%

German

3.3%

Japanese

3.1%

Cantonese

2.8%

Korean

2.4%

Italian

2.4%

Hebrew

1.4%

Portuguese

1.4%

Urdu

1.4%

Swedish

1.2%

Greek

1.2%

Arabic

1.2%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Bulgarian

0.7%

Marathi

0.5%
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Investment Analyst Education

Schools

New York University

8.1%

University of Chicago

7.9%

Boston University

6.7%

Cornell University

6.4%

DePaul University

5.8%

Northeastern University

5.6%

Villanova University

5.4%

Columbia University

5.4%

University of Pennsylvania

5.2%

Johns Hopkins University

5.1%

Drexel University

4.7%

Georgetown University

4.5%

Fordham University

3.9%

University of Connecticut

3.9%

University of Iowa

3.7%

Duke University

3.7%

Pennsylvania State University

3.6%

University of Southern California

3.6%

University of California - Berkeley

3.4%

George Washington University

3.4%
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Majors

Finance

39.6%

Business

24.6%

Economics

8.7%

Accounting

7.0%

Management

2.7%

Marketing

2.3%

Mathematics

1.8%

Real Estate

1.8%

Political Science

1.6%

Statistics

1.1%

History

1.1%

Law

1.0%

Management Science

1.0%

Psychology

1.0%

Business Economics

0.9%

Computer Science

0.8%

Applied Mathematics

0.8%

Project Management

0.7%

Communication

0.7%

International Business

0.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.5%

Masters

41.7%

Other

8.2%

Doctorate

1.9%

Certificate

1.8%

Associate

1.6%

Diploma

0.2%

License

0.1%
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Real Investment Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Investment Analyst Mfg Services LLC New York, NY Oct 01, 2015 $379,575
Investment Analyst Capital Research and Management Company New York, NY Jan 15, 2015 $378,000
Investment Analyst, Asian Equities Capital Research and Management Company Los Angeles, CA Oct 31, 2015 $336,600
Investment Analyst, Asian Equities Capital Research Company Los Angeles, CA Jul 27, 2015 $304,800
Private Equity Investment Analyst William H Gates, III (Dba) BMGI Kirkland, WA Sep 03, 2016 $300,000
Private Equity Investment Analyst William H Gates III Kirkland, WA Aug 22, 2015 $275,000
Investment Analyst, Financial Sector Capital Research and Management Company Los Angeles, CA Apr 02, 2016 $247,200
Investment Analyst, High Yield Corporate Bonds Capital Research and Management Company New York, NY Oct 01, 2015 $240,000
Planning and Portfolio Analyst Chevron Corporation San Ramon, CA Dec 26, 2016 $232,309
Investment Analyst Davis Selected Advisers, Ny New York, NY Jan 03, 2016 $220,000
Portfolio Analyst Albourne America LLC San Francisco, CA Sep 29, 2015 $214,000
Portfolio Analyst Albourne America LLC San Francisco, CA Jan 10, 2016 $214,000
Private Investment Valuation Analyst Oz Management, LP New York, NY Nov 12, 2015 $106,090
Quantitative Portfolio Analyst Wellington Management Company LLP Boston, MA Apr 26, 2016 $106,000 -
$120,000
Investment Analyst Rockport Development Inc. West Covina, CA Mar 25, 2016 $105,830
Investment Analyst Dalton Investments LLC Santa Monica, CA Sep 16, 2015 $105,830
Retail Deposit Portfolio Analyst Union Bank, N.A. Los Angeles, CA Aug 21, 2015 $105,000 -
$130,000
GAA Portfolio Analyst AQR Capital Management, LLC Greenwich, CT Apr 25, 2016 $105,000 -
$125,000
Investment Analyst Giralda Advisors, LLC New York, NY Jul 17, 2015 $105,000
Investments Analyst Equity International Management, LLC Chicago, IL Jan 09, 2016 $105,000
Investment Analyst (Emerging Markets) Payden & Rygel Los Angeles, CA May 05, 2015 $83,595
Investment Analyst Singpoli Capital Corporation Pasadena, CA Mar 15, 2016 $83,595
Financial Analyst/Investment Analyst Honey Science Corporation Los Angeles, CA Sep 21, 2016 $83,480
Investment Analyst Hermes Investment Inc. Los Angeles, CA Mar 09, 2015 $82,410
Investment Analyst Rockport Development Inc. West Covina, CA Mar 06, 2016 $82,410
Investment Analyst East West Bank Pasadena, CA Sep 19, 2015 $82,410
Fixed Income Portfolio Analyst Wellington Management Company LLP Boston, MA Aug 22, 2016 $81,000 -
$95,000
Investment Analyst 3V Sourceone Ventures Fund, L.P. Winchester, MA Sep 17, 2015 $81,000

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Top Skills for An Investment Analyst

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  1. Portfolio
  2. Financial Statements
  3. Investment Strategies
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Tracked portfolio movement and positioning daily while providing continual reporting of various needs.
  • Spread historical and projected financial statements, including in depth analysis of operational, profitability, and leverage ratios.
  • Assisted Portfolio Managers in administering the appropriate investment strategies within six different risk category models for over 25,000 separately managed accounts.
  • Performed investment modeling to assess clients' spending needs relative to asset allocation and expected capital distributions from investment managers.
  • Calculated fund established private equity and real-estate benchmarks, reconciled performance variances, and estimated/determined performances drivers associated with variances.

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Top 10 Best States for Investment Analysts

  1. New York
  2. Maryland
  3. Connecticut
  4. Delaware
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. Colorado
  8. District of Columbia
  9. North Carolina
  10. Alabama
  • (1,247 jobs)
  • (470 jobs)
  • (215 jobs)
  • (60 jobs)
  • (676 jobs)
  • (497 jobs)
  • (332 jobs)
  • (352 jobs)
  • (507 jobs)
  • (143 jobs)

Top Investment Analyst Employers

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