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Research Analyst

What is Research and Analysis?

Research and analysis is a critical function in financial organizations. Financial organizations want to make sure they are investing their own or their clients’ financial assets appropriately. To this end, they continue to hire and recruit Analysts who are responsible for researching and evaluating possible risks and potential returns on investments and other financial transactions.

Is it for me?

Do you like digging for facts? Are you inquisitive and eager to learn about new things? Are you able to sift through large quantities of information and come up with the most important points? If you answered yes to these questions, then Research Analyst may be the right position for you.

Overview
Qualifications
Duties
Career Path
Career Impact

What is the role of the Research Analyst?

Research Analysts are accountable for monitoring market trends, as well as political, economic and regulatory developments in order to be able to identify potential external influences that could affect investment returns.  Being a Research Analyst requires strong analytical thinking skills, knowledge of data management techniques and the ability to synthesize information into reportable, user-friendly formats.  Analysts are expected to be able to compile and present their findings and recommendations to portfolio managers, investment specialists, investors and other key decision makers.

Analysts provide critical business intelligence to financial institutions, which they need to make investment decisions. Analysts are highly valued for their analytical ability and deep understanding of financial markets.

The life cycle of a typical project for a Research Analyst would include the following steps:

Determine scope of research --> conduct research --> create report --> present final report

Analyst positions provide individuals with exposure to a variety of industries and clients. The skills required for the role are highly applicable across a variety of financial institutions or lines of business.

Work Context for this Role 

For more information on the work context for this role, please refer to the PDF document provided at the top right-hand corner of this page. 

Areas of Focus

Research Analysts may work in a number of different areas within an organization.  For example the broad title ‘Research Analyst’ may refer to a variety of more specific roles such as Financial Analyst, Investment Analyst, Securities Analyst or Equity Analyst to name a few.  Research Analysts usually focus on one primary area such as an industry, geography or type of financial product.

Typically they tend to align to one of two sides of a financial transaction:

  • ‘Buy-side’ Analysts work for organizations that have money to invest, and conduct research in order to recommend new opportunities for competitive advantage and/or potential investments. Examples of buy-side organizations are, pension funds, mutual funds, hedge funds, insurance companies and money managers.
  • ‘Sell-side’ Analysts work to help organizations sell specific financial products or services (such as stocks, bonds and other securities) and provide rationale for investment opportunities (e.g. buy/sell recommendations) for their firm, clients and potential clients.  Examples of sell-side organizations include banks, investment firms and wealth management firms.

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Distinctive Qualifications For This Role

A snapshot of the unique qualifications for this role is provided below. For more comprehensive information on the qualifications and job requirements, you can download the PDF document given under the Printer-Friendly Version section at the top of this page.

Required Qualifications

How You Qualify

Certifications, Designations & Licenses

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Employers in different segments of the financial services sector – e.g. banking, insurance, wealth and fund management – may require candidates to possess one or more of the following:

Required Skills

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  • Soft Skills
  • "Out-of-the-Box" Thinking: Creative and Innovative Decision Making
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  • Adaptability and Mental Flexibility
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  • Team Collaboration and Information Sharing
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  • Technical Skills
  • Financial Analysis
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  • Research - Analysis and Reporting
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  • Statistical Analysis and Modelling
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  • Knowledge Skills
  • Financial Services Business Functions and Operations
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  • Regulatory and Legislative Policy & Procedures for the Financial Sector
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Other Training

Additional training may include courses such as:

  • Investment Management Techniques (IMT)
  • Portfolio Management Techniques (PMT)
  • Technical Analysis Course (TAC)
  • Financial Risk Management Course
  • Canadian Securities Course (CSC)

Professional associations may include:

  • CFA Institute
  • Association of Certified International Investment Analysts

Relevant Information

Compensation

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