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Working as an Investment Analyst

A career in financial services industry is both challenging and rewarding. But what, exactly, does a financial analyst do every day? Depending on the level of experience of the analyst, these daily tasks can different considerably. Investment analysts provide fund managers, stockbrokers and traders with the information they need to make decisions including providing financial information, advice, and recommendations taken from relevant investment data.

Junior Investment Analyst

A younger or junior analyst will tend to do a lot of data gathering, financial modeling, and updating and maintaining spreadsheets; the more senior analysts tend to spend their time developing investment theses, meeting with management teams and other co-opting with investors.

Essentially a junior investment analyst is tasked with researching, collecting and analyzing information which in turn helps the most senior members of the investment team to make profitable decisions on behalf of their clients.

Senior Investment Analyst

More often than not, top analysts handle multiple projects and usually specialize in a particular industry segment, geographical area or class of investment. Emily Muhleman is a Senior Investment Analyst who has over five years experience on the buy side and three years as a research analyst.

When asked to list some of the tasks Senior Investment analysts perform, Emily share this list.

  • Research the global investment climate and identify low-risk, high growth potential market opportunities
  • Meet with company management teams, other analysts and attend conferences to identify attractive candidates
  • Write investor letters describing the market about our fund’s performance, discussing the current outlook on a macro scale and how we intend to reposition the portfolio
  • Extensive fundamental, bottom-up equity and credit analysis to evaluate a company’s prospects relative to the market’s view
  • Maintain up-to-date on all events in financial markets with emphasis on central banks and monetary policies

For Emily it is important that she pursue a strategy of absolute returns that emphasizes concentrated, contrarian or value-oriented equity positions and special situations.

Generally speaking, a day in the life of a junior or senior analyst can be very hectic and labor intensive. Nevertheless, the reward is a challenging and likely financially rewarding career.

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