Investment Analyst Careers

How to become investment analyst

What does an investment analyst do?

Investment analysts study the performance of stocks and shares, and produce information to help fund managers make decisions about which investments to buy. They can work for in-house fund managers, investment management companies, investment banks or firms of stockbrokers.

Investment analysts will normally:

  • analyse the financial performance of target companies, eg cash flow statements
  • keep up to date with market developments including political events
  • monitor the financial news, eg company acquisitions
  • obtain information from the management of target companies
  • produce research for fund managers.

Investment analysts often work as part of a team alongside stockbrokers, providing them with the information needed to manage their clients' investment portfolios successfully.


What's the working environment like for an investment analyst?

Investment analysts work long, irregular hours which can include weekend work.The London Stock Exchange opens at 8am so investment analysts are likely to be at their desks from 7am.

The work is mainly office-based, but travel is common while conducting research and meeting clients. Some travel abroad could be necessary if dealing with overseas clients.


What does it take to become an investment analyst?

To be an investment analyst you should:

  • be able to interpret and present complex information
  • be able to work under pressure in stressful situations
  • have a sound knowledge of accounts, economics and sometimes politics
  • have confidence in your own judgement
  • have strong written and oral communication skills
  • have good mathematical skills
  • be able to work as part of a team and act on your own initiative.

Language skills - particularly German, Japanese and French - can be useful if working with overseas clients and markets.

Investment analyst career opportunities

Although some investment analysts work in small national firms, most employers are now international companies. Many jobs are based in London, but there are opportunities in other cities such as Edinburgh, Manchester, Leeds and others. Work is also available overseas at other major financial centres.

Promotion is dependent on past performance, and competition can be fierce. After gaining a few years of experience, it is possible to move into other roles such as fund manager or stockbroker, or to become self-employed.


Further information

If you would like to find out more about becoming an investment analyst that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Financial Services Skills Council (FSSC)
51 Gresham Street
Tel: 020 7216 7366

Securities & Investment Institute (SII)
Centurion House
24 Monument Street
Tel: 020 7645 0680

UK Society of Investment Professionals (UKSIP)
90 Basinghall Street
Tel: 020 7796 3000

Financial Services Authority (FSA)
25 The North Colonnade
Canary Wharf
E14 5HS
Tel: 020 7066 1000


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