Investment analysts help the fund managers; stock market traders and the stockbrokers make decisions by providing valuable information as well as reports. They carry out research to identify new investment niche or the time when the value of a fund is beginning to decline.
The tasks of an investment analyst will require him or her to understand business and economics. That is why they usually start with a degree in a subject such as business or economics. When in the job market, their starting point in most cases is as a graduate trainee in a stock broking firm or an investment bank.
Before we dive into the factors that will make you a successful investment analyst, here are some of the activities that an investment analyst gets involved in.
As an investment analyst, your task will be to provide your opinion on economic changes both in your country and worldwide. You will advise on some investment opportunities that are existent and whether they are worth considering. An understanding of the financial information in your sector will be helpful here. The tasks that you will find yourself doing are mainly:
- Research on how your target company is performing financially
- Keep a keen eye on financial press
- Carry out data analysis
- Recommend on investments worth making
- Come up with reports that the stock brokers and the fund managers will use
- Take a look at the accounts of the company
- Maintain updated data on economic and political developments that can have an impact on the financial markets
An investment analyst works for up to 12 hours in a day. The day begins at 6 am and ends at 6 or 7 pm. He or she is office based, but occasionally, travelling may be a necessity when going to meet with colleagues or clients in a different geographical location.
For you to effectively carry out your tasks and become successful as an investment analyst, you will need to know a few things:
Becoming a successful system analyst
Have a positive attitude
Do not put your attention on the fact that the job is intense and demanding, do not complain. Consider the positives instead of the negatives in any challenging task that you may encounter. You should have the attitude of a person who is ready to solve the problem. Be proactive and friendly with your colleagues, administration staff, and secretaries, above and below the hierarchy.
Give your best in investment analysis
Investment analysis is a tough task, and you will thus be needed to work extra hard. Do not just pretend to be busy, get busy and get the work done correctly. Manage your image so as not to appear to be a lazy investment analyst.
Confirm your work before handing it in
An investment analyst has got no other option than to be accurate. Develop the habit of going through your work before you hand it over. Look at the numbers and ensure that they make sense to you. Pay attention to other essential details like formatting and spelling. If there are many spelling mistakes in your work, people are like to assume that your evaluation also has got mistakes. It is a significant risk to pass your work to your superiors if you have not yet triple checked it.
Have evidence that supports all number
For every fact and number in your evaluation model, ensure that you have referenced your sources in the presentations and templates. An investment analyst encounters a very familiar question; from where did you get this? You are required to be able to provide a comprehensive answer to such a quiz. The evidence has to be provided within the shortest time possible (minutes). This boosts the confidence that your bosses will have in your evidence. Hesitation or not knowing the source makes people arrive top the conclusion that the numbers are guessed.
Let your numbers be consistent all over the documents
A single number may be referenced to at different places while the presentation is being prepared. If at one place you referred to a number as 100m, at another place we do not expect you to refer to the same number as 98m. Your models and presentations should be consistent as a whole.
Arrive early to work
Becoming an investment analyst is a demanding job. You will find yourself leaving your workstation very late in the evening. You should not use this as an excuse come in late the next morning. Arriving late is anytime past 9:30 am. Coming to work late is easily noticed by your seniors, and you can be sure it is not a good sign at all. If everyone else comes to work at 9:15 am, be distinguished and arrive in 5 minutes early. This small effort will eventually pay off.
Attend meeting, take notes
When a client invites you to a meeting, be ready and professional. That means you should be I n a tie, have your notepad with you for notes taking and your calculator to quickly check a number while still with the client. Print the relevant files and show them to your seniors.
Ask questions at the appropriate time
In case there is something that you cannot grasp, do not hesitate to ask about it. While you are new, people will acknowledge the fact that you are still learning and do not know much. However, if you pile up your questions till the second or third year, you will be seen as being incompetent. Be thoughtful while asking the questions. Identify a friendly colleague who is open. Do not just ask any of your colleagues.
Create an elaborate network with other analysts
For you to survive as an investment analyst for long, you need the help of other people. These are the colleague that will give you a hand, confirm your models, explain to you challenging concepts, etc. in any industry whatsoever; networking is crucial.
Have the interest to understand as to why you made a mistake
Do not feel bad when you make a mistake occasionally. When you have made a mistake, try to see why you made it. Pay keen attention to the reason so as not to repeat the same mistake twice.
Let your criticism motivate you to grow
Do not let what is being said by your critics affect hoe you work. Carefully analyze their sentiments and find the truth in it. If they are right, change as required. If they are wrong, continue with your work without any worries.