An investment analyst is a professional who specializes in financial analysis. He may work for an external firm, an internal company, or both. In either case, he’s responsible for interpreting the data and analyzing it to determine whether a particular investment is worth making. He may also consult with financial planners, stockbrokers, and other professionals. In addition, an investment analyst may provide a range of other services, such as analyzing the risks of investments.
An investment analyst works closely with investment managers to present their research to clients. They often work as a team, sharing information with other analysts and portfolio managers. Investment analysts gather and interpret data on the financial statements of companies, currency adjustments, and yield fluctuations. They also follow macro developments, such as economic climate, the impact of natural disasters, and emerging industries. This translates into a lucrative job. The job requires an intense concentration on data analysis and collaboration across various disciplines.
Investment analysts often specialize in one region or industry. For example, a specialist in the Far East may be responsible for research on emerging markets and the stock market in Eastern Europe. They are expected to work long hours, sometimes even overnight. Some analysts may even spend a few years in a foreign location in order to gather local knowledge and develop professional networks. And as the job description indicates, it is possible to move up from an analyst to a fund manager.
In order to become an investment analyst, you must have a degree from an accredited institution in a related field. Some postgraduate qualifications, including an MBA, may also be helpful. You should also have solid computer and IT skills. You should be fluent in a foreign language as well, as many employers are interested in candidates who speak the language. You can also get an internship while working in a financial company. These internships are highly competitive, so make sure you are ready for an interview.
The size of an investment firm and its location will determine your career path. Big international firms are likely to have more opportunities for advancement, but smaller regional firms may not have as many. If you’re unsure about which company to apply to, you can also seek help from a specialist recruitment agency. Larger firms are likely to offer structured training programmes and trainees are often assigned to a specific team or individual. They may also have overseas locations.
Many investment analysts aspire to become certified. The CFA designation, for example, requires a rigorous postgraduate program. It also enables you to gain access to networks like the CFA Institute. CFA certified candidates can go on to take the CAIA or CIMA exams, but CFA-certified candidates are preferred by many employers. In addition to the CFA, you can even pursue a career in investment management if you have the experience and skills.