Job descriptions and industry overviews

Investment analyst: job description

7 Jul 2023, 14:09

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

Investment analyst job description

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

Investment analysts are responsible for providing the information that fund managers and other investment professionals need to make decisions. They examine economic, political and financial data, investigate trends and make recommendations based on the potential impact of these on investments.

Typical duties include:

  • researching companies and their financial state – for example, by examining their profits and losses in detail
  • keeping up to date with political, financial and economic changes, and their possible impact
  • creating financial models and reports that convey complex information succinctly and accurately
  • making recommendations based on research and an understanding of political and economic events
  • 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
  • keeping up-to-date with financial regulations and ensuring that all work meets them.

The people with whom you interact as an investment analyst, and the precise nature of your work, vary depending on your employer. For example, analysts employed by investment management companies offer their expertise to fund managers in-house. If you work for an investment bank or stockbroker, you’ll provide advice to portfolio managers or clients.

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, which can be up to 12 hours per day.

Graduate salaries

Starting salaries for graduate investment analysts range from around £29,000 to around £50,000, according to jobs comparison site Glassdoor. You’re also likely to receive a bonus and, particularly if you work for a large firm, other perks such as private health care.

Earnings (and bonuses) rise with experience and can do so rapidly.

Typical employers of investment analysts

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

Vacancies are advertised on targetjobs and by careers services. You’ll also find them advertised by specialist recruitment agencies.

Qualifications and training required

You usually need a degree in a finance-related subject such as maths, business or economics to become an investment analyst. The field is competitive and some employers prefer candidates with MBAs and other postgraduate qualifications.

Once you’re employed you’re likely to need to complete the chartered financial analyst programme, which starts with the level 4 certificate in investment management. You’ll also need to continue to build professional skills and qualifications as you progress towards more senior roles.

Work experience will help your application stand out. Look for insight events as well as placements and internships, as these give you opportunities to ask questions and make connections.

School leavers can join the investment profession via an apprenticeship, which involves studying on a day-release basis while working in a related job.

Key skills for investment analysts

Skills would-be investment analysts should demonstrate include:

  • rigorous research skills
  • a keen interest in current affairs
  • the ability to work effectively under pressure
  • analytical and problem-solving skills
  • teamworking skills
  • excellent numerical skills and the ability to apply them
  • communication skills
  • the ability to think strategically.

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