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Investment Economist


Description

In the last few decades, 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 economists to do this work specifically. Investment economists conduct research, analyze statistical information and prepare reports and plans that are used to predict economic investment problems. They forecast economic behaviors and patterns and offer innovative investment ideas for solutions and new initiatives. In a nutshell, they attempt to provide people with a practical understanding of how investments affect our economy.

Investment economists are interested in the factors that influence investments people make and they aim to find solutions to improve people's future investment choices. Economists have to know everything about the strengths and weaknesses of investment economics, and economic methods and theories. It is also important that they are up to date with technological developments, politics and current affairs. They use models and methodologies to think about investing, which may require knowledge of maths including statistics, human behavior, and overseas economic ideas and trends.
Investment economists assess a company's investment information to provide new and innovative investment advice. They 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.

Economists working in investment banking departments 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 economists 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 economists 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.

Some people think of investment economists as fortunetellers or predictors of our future economy. They must in fact, forecast what they believe will change and occur economically based on the research and analysis they compile. They present their statistical concepts in a clear and meaningful way so that people can understand what their data really means. Investment economists 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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  Interests and Skills  
Investment economists have strong mathematical, statistical and analytical skills. They enjoy developing innovative and creative economic models, analyzing information and making economic forecasts and communicating ideas in clear and logical ways (using plain language to describe complex issues). They come into contact with many abstract concepts therefore they must enjoy problem solving.

Successful investment economists enjoy taking a methodical approach to collecting information and analyzing problems. There is some risk involved in the work therefore they must be confident in their decision making skills and stock market knowledge.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Conduct research and develop models that illustrate and forecast economic behavior and patterns, and devise methods for the collection and analysis of data
  • Analyze factors that determine economic growth and advise government agencies on investment policies to increase economic activities
  • 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
  • Study mathematical formulas and statistical techniques and apply them to the testing and quantifying of economic theories and the solution of economic problems
  • Study the nature of money, credit and credit instruments and the operation of banks and other financial institutions to develop monetary policies and forecasts of financial activity
  • Provide investment advice and recommendations to senior company officials, pension fund managers, securities agents and associates
  • Examine problems related to the economic activity of individual companies
  • Examine financing methods, production costs and techniques and marketing policies to discover possible improvements
  • Study statistics on the exchange of goods and services among nations
  • Conduct research on investments and market conditions in local, regional or national areas to assess market potential and future trends
  • Investment economists often work long hours (sometimes 10 hours a day) and are often required to put in longer hours on weekends at during the evening. They generally work in office environments using computers and making phone calls in order to complete research. They may travel locally and globally to present economic information to clients, to carry out research, and to attend conferences and meetings. They may also travel overseas to conferences and to do contract work in developing countries

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Investment economists work in both the public and private sectors. They are often employed by the government, investment institutions, large organizations in finance and business, professional and recreational organizations, consulting and marketing firms and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as the World Bank or the United Nations, amongst other places.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Investment economists have the ability to move around different analytical financial sectors. They may decide to work as a business or investment analyst, banker, or stockbroker. Some investment economists may decide to become instructors at universities and colleges. Many are employed as economic consultants to advise business, industry, government, labor and others. Some investment economists may open up their own consulting firms. They can also advance into technical writing positions as they have experience writing clear and concise works.
 

  Educational Paths  
Investment economists require an undergraduate degree in commerce, finance or economics. Preference is certainly given to applicants who have post graduate degrees such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a combination of degrees in related fields. A master's or doctoral level degree is required for teaching at the postsecondary level and advancement into senior positions. 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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