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Become A Securities Research Analyst

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Working As A Securities Research Analyst

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

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $94,612

    Average Salary

What Does A Securities Research 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 A Securities Research 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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Securities Research Analyst jobs

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Securities Research Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

72.3%

Female

21.5%

Unknown

6.2%
Ethnicity

White

66.4%

Asian

17.1%

Hispanic or Latino

10.6%

Unknown

4.9%

Black or African American

1.0%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

22.2%

Arabic

16.7%

Portuguese

11.1%

German

11.1%

Turkish

5.6%

Hebrew

5.6%

Japanese

5.6%

Norwegian

5.6%

Persian

5.6%

Russian

5.6%

Korean

5.6%
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Securities Research Analyst Education

Schools

Institute of World Politics

12.9%

North Carolina State University

6.5%

Bowie State University

6.5%

Strayer University

6.5%

California State University - East Bay

6.5%

Iowa State University

6.5%

Carnegie Mellon University

6.5%

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

6.5%

Cornell University

6.5%

Syracuse University

3.2%

Marshall University

3.2%

Norwich University

3.2%

University of Maryland - University College

3.2%

Washington University in Saint Louis

3.2%

University of Memphis

3.2%

New Professions Technical Institute

3.2%

High Point University

3.2%

PR Technological Institute San Juan Campus

3.2%

Central State University

3.2%

San Jose State University

3.2%
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Majors

Computer Science

20.7%

Finance

15.2%

Business

14.1%

Computer Systems Security

9.8%

Computer Engineering

6.5%

Political Science

4.3%

Information Systems

4.3%

Economics

3.3%

Information Technology

3.3%

Electrical Engineering

3.3%

Management

2.2%

Intelligence Operations

2.2%

Computer Technical Support

2.2%

Criminal Justice

2.2%

Communication Disorders Sciences

1.1%

Writing

1.1%

Sociology

1.1%

Medicine

1.1%

Mathematics

1.1%

Area Studies

1.1%
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Degrees

Masters

40.4%

Bachelors

36.0%

Other

13.2%

Doctorate

7.0%

Certificate

1.8%

Associate

1.8%
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Real Securities Research Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Security Researcher Secureworks, Inc. Atlanta, GA Nov 04, 2016 $180,000
Principal Security Researcher Blue Coat Systems Inc. Draper, UT Jul 28, 2016 $165,000
Senior Security Researcher Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jan 04, 2016 $165,000
Principal Security Researcher Blue Coat Systems Inc. Draper, UT Aug 27, 2016 $165,000
Senior Security Researcher Immunity, Inc. Miami Beach, FL Feb 23, 2016 $161,600
Senior Security Researcher II Immunity Miami Beach, FL Dec 17, 2015 $161,600
Senior Security Researcher Immunity, Inc. Miami Beach, FL Oct 01, 2015 $161,600
Security Researcher Alienvault, Inc. Austin, TX Sep 15, 2015 $150,000
Web Security Researcher Adobe Systems Incorporated San Francisco, CA Sep 29, 2016 $150,000
Senior Security Researcher McAfee, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Jul 14, 2015 $148,803 -
$168,883
Staff Email Security Researcher Fireeye, Inc. Milpitas, CA May 11, 2015 $148,000
Municipal Securities Research Analyst Zions Bank/ZMSC Salt Lake City, UT Aug 22, 2016 $145,165
Muni Securities Research Analyst Zions Bank/ZMSC Salt Lake City, UT Dec 10, 2015 $141,625
Security Researcher Adobe Systems Incorporated San Francisco, CA Dec 29, 2016 $140,005
SR. Security Researcher McAfee, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Sep 27, 2015 $113,086 -
$167,750
Security Researcher Adobe Systems Incorporated San Francisco, CA Sep 30, 2015 $109,935
Security Researcher Cylance, Inc. Irvine, CA Jun 10, 2015 $105,000
Staff Security Researcher Fireeye, Inc. Milpitas, CA Sep 05, 2015 $105,000 -
$168,000
Security Researcher Intel Corporation Hillsboro, OR Apr 30, 2015 $104,770 -
$175,400
Security Researcher Intel Corporation Hillsboro, OR Aug 12, 2015 $104,770 -
$175,400
Security Researcher Intel Corporation Hillsboro, OR Sep 09, 2016 $102,502 -
$148,200
Security Researcher Intel Corporation Hillsboro, OR May 04, 2016 $88,130 -
$152,800
Security Researcher Intel Corporation Hillsboro, OR Aug 17, 2016 $88,130 -
$129,500
Security Researcher Intel Corporation Hillsboro, OR Aug 25, 2016 $88,130 -
$152,800
Security Researcher Intel Corporation Hillsboro, OR Apr 13, 2016 $88,130 -
$175,400
Security Researcher Intel Corporation Hillsboro, OR Apr 21, 2016 $88,130 -
$175,400
Security Researcher Intel Corporation Hillsboro, OR Apr 22, 2016 $88,130 -
$175,400
Security Researcher Intel Corporation Englewood, CO Jan 26, 2016 $87,214 -
$145,300
Security Researcher Intel Corporation Hillsboro, OR Nov 18, 2016 $84,594 -
$107,760

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Top Skills for A Securities Research Analyst

VulnerabilityNetworkSecuritySQLWindowsInfrastructureResearchPaperWebAssuranceSecurityPoliciesLinuxCloudASPPythonC++AndroidBloombergOsintBackgroundChecksInformationSecurityIntrusionDetection

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Top Securities Research Analyst Skills

  1. Vulnerability
  2. Network Security
  3. SQL
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided penetration testing and vulnerability assessments for clients requiring such testing for compliance or general best practice.
  • Project consulting in developing network security architecture.
  • Utilized SQL and/ or Excel to analyze and summarize data.
  • Created and managed virtual and physical networks of over 400 Windows, Unix, Firewall and Router systems2015-2016Activities
  • Support other Infrastructure Protection operational functions and activities.

Top Securities Research Analyst Employers