“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
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.
How about the prospect of earning over £100,000 annually? Well, this table shows the figures you could hit at various career levels.
Potential Annual Salary
£25,000 - £30,000
£50,000 - £70,000
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;
- London Business School, University of London
- Said Business School, University of Oxford,
- Judge Business School, University of Cambridge
- Warwick Business School, University of Warwick
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
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;
- Obtaining professional qualifications from the CFA Society United Kingdom or the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments Institute
- Earning a CISI Diploma
- Obtaining a master’s degrees in business management
With these qualifications, you can become a fund manager or account manager.
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.