CAREER DEVELOPMENT / JUN. 12, 2014
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How to Become an Investment Analyst

“How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case.” Goes a famous quote by Robert G. Allen, a Canadian-born American businessman. Undoubtedly, most wealthy individuals and companies invest their money in real estate, stock market, hedge funds and other lucrative options. Enter investment analysts: professionals who work toward ensuring clients make sound investment decisions.

What Do Investment Analysts Do?

Investment managers commonly work in investment banks, consulting firms, investment management companies or brokerages where they focus on providing economic insights and trends and evaluating various investment options. Although specific duties might vary with workplace, investment analysts generally perform these tasks;

  • Conducting research on a variety of investment-related matters
  • Staying abreast of changes to investment laws and regulations
  • Advising fund managers on the implications of various investment decisions
  • Evaluating the financial statements of specific companies that are of interest to a client
  • Monitoring development in various financial markets by watching news and reviewing industry journals

Work Environment

If you would love a job that is mainly office-based, consider investment analysis. These analysts typically work in their offices from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Investment analysts with clients in foreign countries may travel often to meet them.

Salary

How about the prospect of earning over £100,000 annually? Well, this table shows the figures you could hit at various career levels.

Job Level

Potential Annual Salary

Beginning Analysts

£25,000 - £30,000

Experience Analysts

£50,000 - £70,000

Senior Analysts

£100,000 plus

Source: National Careers Service

Education and Training

Although investment analysts can come from diverse academic backgrounds, majors in business, finance, economics and statistics are highly desirable. Basically, you must complete the following steps to qualify for employment.

  • Complete A-Levels
  • Secure a bachelor’s degree – preferably with a classification of 2:1 or better

Some of the best business schools in the U.K. include;

Newly qualified investment analysts often work as graduate trainees as they receive on-the-job training to equip them with basic job skills and industry knowledge. For example, beginning analysts who find jobs in investment management firms specializing in the energy sector may pursue specific training courses to advance their knowledge of the energy industry.

Key Skills, Abilities and Competencies

Effective investment analysts should possess;

  • Superior research skills to obtain crucial investment information easily
  • Strong analytical skills to evaluate investment information
  • Good decision-making skills to make sound investment recommendations
  • Good arithmetic and information technology skills
  • Excellent communication skills to communicate with fund managers and clients

Career Development

The transition from a beginning analyst to a senior investment analyst can be long and tedious or smooth and quick, depending on the career progression path you take. The smooth and quick path involves;

With these qualifications, you can become a fund manager or account manager.

Employment Prospects

So, is the investment analysis profession green and rosy? Between 2014 and 2020, there will be about 210,000 new positions in the business sector, according to the U.K. National Careers Service. Therefore, aspiring investment analysts can expect to land jobs after meeting the qualification requirements described above.

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