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Investment Analyst


Description

Companies have become more concerned with their financial investing because they want to ensure their company is producing and investing at its highest potential. The result is the trend in hiring investment analysts to do this work specifically. Investment analysts assess a company's investment information to provide new and innovative investment advice. Analysts collect and analyze financial marketplace information such as economic forecasts, trading volumes, financial backgrounds of companies, historical performances and future trends of stocks, bonds and other investment instruments to provide financial and investment advice for their company or their company's clients.

Investment analysts seek out possible risks and potential returns from investments, provide guidance and make recommendations on these findings. They assess the economic performance of a company based on its current investments and seek contemporary methods to invest their money profitably. Investment analysts in investment banking departments of securities or banking firms often work in teams analyzing the future prospects of companies that want to sell shares to the public for the first time. They also ensure that the paperwork necessary for compliance with Securities and Exchange Commission regulations is accurate, concise and complete.

In large institutions such as banks and governments, investment analysts may monitor national and international stock and bond markets and the economic conditions surrounding all other markets. They also follow major American and international industries such as oil and gas, forestry, mining, banking and telecommunications, conducting detailed studies of different investment opportunities that a company may be interested in investing in. Investment analysts then prepare reports or make presentations to managers about the merits of investing in a new company, how the company should invest its money and whether they should buy or sell certain investments or securities. Another method of analysis is using statistical data to measure the different financial risks associated with a particular investment idea.

Investment analysts often meet with managers to get better insight into a company and determine the managerial effectiveness in relation to the company's investment policies. Usually they conduct studies of an entire industry, assessing current market trends, products, and industry competition. They must keep up-to-date on new regulations or policies that may affect the industry, and very importantly, monitor the economy to determine its effect on potential earnings in the company's present investments.
 
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Purdue University Global

Building on Purdue's mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Globaldelivers a fully personalized online experience that's tailored to working adults.

Programs Offered:
  • MS in Finance - Financial Analysis
  • MBA - Finance
  • BS in Business Administration - Financial Analysis
  • And more...

 

 



  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
$34,570
 
Median Salary:
$57,100
 
Highest 10% of Earners:
$108,060

  Interests and Skills  
Investment analysts must possess the analytical skills required to conduct thorough, objective research and make recommendations for investment decisions. They have excellent communication skills because they write reports and publicly present their research and findings to management officials in companies. Analysts have high ethical standards and can keep information confidential because they are often dealing with millions of dollars in an organization.

Successful investment analysts enjoy taking a methodical approach to collecting information, working with numbers, analysing problems and finding innovative solutions. There is some risk involved in the work therefore they must be confident in their decision making skills and stock market knowledge.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Collect financial and investment information about companies, stocks, bonds and other investments using daily stock and bond reports, economic forecasts, trading volumes, financial periodicals, securities manuals, company financial statements and other financial reports and publications
  • Examine and analyze investment information collected, including profiles of companies, stock and bond prices, yields and future trends and other investment information for use in making investment decisions
  • Provide investment advice and recommendations to senior company officials, pension fund managers, securities agents and associates
  • Prepare company, industry and economic outlooks, analytical reports, briefing notes and correspondence
  • Draw charts and graphs to illustrate reports, using the computer
  • Call brokers and purchase investments for a company, according to company policy
  • Investment analysts often work long and irregular office hours. Days are often filled with meetings and phone calls therefore in order to complete research, analysts may be required to stay late in order to finish their work. Further, some meetings may take place at night or on weekends. Investment analysts frequently travel to companies and conduct interviews with investors. They usually work on computers with specific company databases or financial software programs.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Investment analysts are generally employed in the head offices of securities firms, investment banking firms, governments, banks, trust companies, investment and underwriting firms, stock and mortgage brokerages, commodity exchanges and other companies and non-profit organizations.
  • Wealthy foundations, educational institutions and, sometimes corporations with substantial amounts of their own money to invest also employ investment analysts. Otherwise, they may be self-employed and either own their own analyst firm or work as a freelancer.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Investment analysts usually come equipped with years of experience, often in other sectors of business. They are generally not young and fresh out of university as companies tend to entrust their money with older, more experienced investors. Also, it takes years to make a name for yourself in the industry and get contracted by companies to conduct financial investment analysis. Experienced investment analysts may decide to specialize in a particular aspect of financial investing, for example mergers and acquisitions, or move into supervisory or senior management positions in larger companies or professional associations. More established investment analysts may write a financial column for a newspaper, or appear on television or radio shows to offer their financial suggestions.
 

  Educational Paths  
Investment analysts require an undergraduate degree in commerce, finance or economics. Preference is certainly given to applicants who have post-graduate degrees such as an Master's of Business Administration (MBA) or a combination of degrees in related fields. For example, a degree in forestry is an asset for investment analysts working in the forestry and logging industry. Most companies require prospective investment analysts to have several years of relevant training and work experience.
 

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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