TARGETjobs black logo
Investment analysts provide stockbrokers, fund managers and stock market traders with financial information, advice and recommendations derived from global investment data.

Working hours in investment banking are notoriously long but remuneration is generous.

What does an investment analyst do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

While fund managers are responsible for making decisions about investments, it is investment analysts who have the responsibility of providing information and recommendations that enable such decisions to be made.

The precise nature of the work may vary according to the type of employer. For example, some investment analysts may be employed by investment management companies and offer their expertise to fund managers in-house; others may work for investment banks and stockbrokers, providing portfolio managers or clients with their advice. However, in general investment analysts examine economic trends and their impact on investment potential. Typical tasks may include:

  • researching companies, particularly in terms of their financial functioning
  • analysing company accounts, profit and loss sheets and cash flow information
  • interpreting complicated financial information
  • writing financial research summaries
  • regularly meeting with company managers, stock market traders, fund managers and stockbrokers
  • making informed recommendations
  • collating detailed, up-to-date information about the UK economy and financial markets.

Investment work provides high levels of responsibility, good promotional opportunities and impressive financial rewards for the most successful employees. However, the role is demanding with long working hours, sometimes up to 12 hours per day.

Typical employers of investment analysts

  • Investment banks
  • Investment management companies
  • Stockbrokers
  • Private equity firms
  • Life assurance companies
  • Large charities
  • Banks, particularly in wealth management.

Vacancies are advertised by careers services, specialist recruitment agencies, online and in publications such as TARGETjobs Finance, as well as Business Week, The Economist and The Banker, plus their respective websites. Undertaking sector and company research, attending presentations, networking and speculative applications are worthwhile. Early applications for vacancies are advisable.

Qualifications and training required

Investment analyst positions are more commonly open to graduates rather than school leavers. However, it may be possible for school leavers to enter the profession by starting in an administrative role within finance and undertaking study for entry-level professional qualifications, such as those with the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, the CFA Institute or the Chartered Insurance Institute. It can take several years to become qualified enough to find employment as an investment analyst.

Some companies do offer apprenticeships for school leavers, which could lead to a career as an investment analyst. For more information about this route, see the finance sector of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.

Graduates will need a degree of 2.1 or higher. Qualifications in business studies, management, statistics, mathematics, accounting or economics can be particularly helpful, as can an MBA or similar professional qualification. Relevant paid or voluntary experience gained via internships can be beneficial. Language skills may also be useful when working for an employer with international clients.

Key skills for investment analysts

  • Research skills
  • Confidence
  • Determination
  • Self-motivation
  • An interest in current affairs
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure
  • IT skills
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Teamworking skills
  • Numerical skills
  • Communication skills.


More on the skills needed by investment analysts.

Next: search internships and graduate jobs

Supported by

This describes editorially independent and objective content, written and edited by the GTI content team, with which the organisation would like to be associated and has provided some funding in order to be so. Any external contributors featuring in the article are independent from the supporter organisation and contributions are in line with our non-advertorial policy.

Advertising feature by

This describes content that has been written and edited in close collaboration with the organisation, who has funded the feature; it is advertising. We are committed to upholding our ethical values of transparency and honesty when dealing with students and feel that this is the best way not to deceive consumers of our content. The content will be written by GTI editors, but the organisation will have had input into the messaging, provided knowledge and contributors and approved the content.

In Partnership

This content has been written or sourced by AGCAS, the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, and edited by TARGETjobs as part of a content partnership. AGCAS provides impartial information and guidance resources for higher education student career development and graduate employment professionals.

Did you know that members with full profiles are more likely to get direct messages from employers?

Don't miss this great opportunity. Register now
Top