Financial/securities/investment analysts work for financial institutions, such as mutual fund companies, banks, and investment departments of financial institutions, and are responsible for comparable/industry analysis, financial modeling, investment portfolio monitoring, and even marketing support and other projects. Strong communication skills are important in this position, and they must avoid actual and appearance of conflict of interest due to the nature of the job. They should also be able to work independently with minimal or no supervision as well as in a team-oriented environment.
A bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, or finance is generally required for this position, and some employers may prefer those who have a master's degree. Familiarity with equity security terms and valuation methodologies is also necessary. Many employers prefer candidates who participate in Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) programs, and these analysts may also be required to maintain series 6's or/and 7’s certification as issued by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). They must also be knowledgeable of Security Exchange Commission (SEC) rules and regulations relevant to the financial industry.
Financial analysts must be able to use specific computer software and Microsoft Office programs, such as Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. They may need to travel to visit companies with whom their company is interested in investing, and may also attend conferences and read financial journals to keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date.
Financial / Securities / Investments Analyst Tasks
- Conduct research and analysis to evaluate the financial performance of companies or industries.
- Assist in developing investment strategies for companies or individuals.
- Make recommendations for investments based on company and industry research.