Research Analyst

Research Analyst

Research Analysts are responsible for researching and evaluating possible risks and potential returns on investments and other financial transactions, enabling financial organizations to effectively invest their own or their clients’ financial assets. Research Analysts are highly valued across a broad range of financial institutions for their analytical ability and understanding of financial markets.

ROLE-AT-A-GLANCE
Binoculars
Demand Outlook
*

Demand for Research Analysts is expected to be stable.

Diploma
Education & Credentials
*

Undergraduate degree typically required.

Data chart
Quantitative Skills Required
*
Group of people
Interpersonal Skills & Relationship Management
*
Multiple devices Specialized Technology Skills
*
Desktop area Work Environment

Office, some travel required; long hours are common

ROLE-AT-A-GLANCE
Binoculars
Demand Outlook
*

Demand for Research Analysts is expected to be stable.

Diploma
Education & Credentials
*

Undergraduate degree typically required.

Data chart
Quantitative Skills Required
*
Group of people
Interpersonal Skills & Relationship Management
*
Multiple devices Specialized Technology Skills *
Desktop area Work Environment

Office, some travel required; long hours are common


WHAT IT IS

Key Role Dimensions

Monitoring market trends and political, economic and regulatory developments: Process large amounts of quantitative and qualitative information to identify possible external influences on investment return.

Presenting findings and recommendations to key decision makers: Inform the work of Portfolio Managers, Investment Bankers, stock and bond traders/salespeople, etc.

May work as part of a larger research team: May be assigned specific research tasks and required to assimilate findings with those of colleagues.

Focus Areas

Research Analysts usually focus on one primary area such as an industry, geographical area or type of financial product. Consequently, 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. 

Research Analysts tend to align to one of two sides of a financial transaction:

  • ‘Buy-side’ Analysts: Work for organizations that have money to invest (e.g. pension funds, mutual funds, insurance companies) and conduct research to recommend new opportunities for investment. 

  • ‘Sell-side’ Analysts: Work to help organizations such as banks and wealth management firms sell financial products or services (e.g. stocks, bonds) and provide rationale for investment opportunities (i.e. buy/sell recommendations).

WHAT IT TAKES TO SUCCEED

Key Job Accountabilities

Research Analysts generally:

Conduct research and analysis:

  • Monitor financial news using specialist media sources; analyze/understand and summarize data on companies, industry sectors, etc.; and conduct research with subject matter experts as required.
  • Work with team members to synthesize data on market changes, new investment products and other developments that may affect markets and investment opportunities.
  • Use financial modelling and financial analysis to support research reports, including forecasting, cost-benefit and statistical analysis.
  • Maintain databases/spreadsheets of industry and company-specific data.

Create reports and present findings:

  • Compile research findings to write summary reports, create visual representations of data and make presentations and recommendations to management and/or clients.

Knowledge, Skills & Experience

Must-haves:

  • Excellent financial analysis skills
  • Excellent Research/Analysis & Statistical Modelling Skills: Identify data sources and review, compile, analyze and synthesize market, financial, academic and other data
  • Knowledge of investment products (e.g. mutual funds, stocks, securities) and current affairs (e.g. political events, recent mergers, market and sector trends)
  • Knowledge of regulatory and legislative policy and procedures for the financial sector
  • Knowledge of financial services business functions and operations
  • Team collaboration and information-sharing skills
  • Demonstrated Out-of-the-Box Thinking: Creative and innovative decision making

Nice-to-haves:

  • Deep segment experience (e.g. experience in oil and gas or degree in related field)

Education & Credentials

Entry-level positions typically require:

  • Undergraduate university degree

In the fields of:

  • Mathematics
  • Statistics
  • Economics
  • Accounting
  • Business
  • Computer Science

More senior positions require:

  • Graduate degree

In the fields of:

  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Economics

 Employers in different segments may require candidates to possess one or more of these designations:

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

Programs Offered

Centennial College

CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst®) Institute

Fanshawe College

Sprott School of Business

University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)


WHERE IT CAN TAKE YOU

Career Pathways

There are a number of pathways open to Research Analysts through:

  • Specialization: You may decide to specialize in a particular financial services segment, business line or industry to hone your skills and become a subject matter expert.
  • Increased Seniority: You can move on to a leadership role within research.
  • Lateral Career Move: You may aspire to become a Portfolio or Fund Manager, where Analysis experience may be valued.

Future Trends & Impacts

There are several external factors and environmental trends that can influence the demand and qualifications for this role:

  • Dynamic Markets: Staying current or ahead of the curve with respect to business intelligence is a constant challenge.
  • Technology: New research technology or information database systems may necessitate re-education.
  • Complexity: As analytic complexity increases, post-graduate math and statistical modelling may be required for the role.


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