Investment Research Analysts – What They Do, How They Do It

While it’s not the kind of career area the average, everyday job-hunter will show any real interest in, investment research analyst posts are in incredibly high demand across the UK and the world beyond. Of course when you take a look into the specifics of the job itself, this is not what you’d call surprising – who wouldn’t want to travel the world and make vast sums of money while leading a fast-paced and exciting life? Not that there isn’t an extraordinary amount of work and pressure involved – both come with the territory – but for those fitting the profile and willing to put in the necessary efforts, to say the rewards can be rich would be something of an understatement.

In terms of what it is that the research investment analyst does, their role is basically one of pivotal importance when it comes to the finances and the financial success of those they work for. Some work for private clients, others for small businesses and then there are those that represent the world’s biggest banks – all of whom do essentially the same job but at very different levels. They carry out research and provide advice with regard to investment decisions which then influence the ways in which the business invests its money and handles its assets. Suffice to say, therefore, the consequences of the advice given by the research investment analyst really can be gigantic.

In terms of pressure and responsibility alone, there really aren’t many other jobs or career areas that come close to this.

According to the experts at, those with a taste for risk-taking and high-pressure working environments have the potential to reach for the stars and beyond in this career path. Unsurprisingly, however, landing that all-important entry-level post is a pretty difficult job in its own right and competition is growing every year.

Qualifications and Education

For the vast majority of research investment analyst posts that make their way out into the wild, it’s largely impossible to even get past the first phase of the process unless you have an MBA. This tends to be the single most common prerequisite for any application to be considered, though it’s not to say that you cannot gain access to the same career ladder without such a high standard of education. Apply the normal way and qualifications are usually looked at first – go directly to the employer, however, and the first thing they see is YOU, with the qualifications being divulged later.

Talents and Skills

If you’re able to look into the short and long-distance future with 100% accuracy 100% of the time, you’ll be the greatest research investment analyst that ever lived. As you can’t and never will be able to however, it’s a case of using the information and data available to you along with your own judgement to accurately predict what’s to come. It’s a long, complex and hard-fought process that requires heavy investments of time and effort in order to pull together a thousand and one resources and snippets of information which, when evaluated alongside ream after ream of statistics might…but just might…give you an impression of what’s to come. Or in other words, it’s a bit like being given a million-piece jigsaw to do within a certain time limit that has the success of the whole business riding on it – no pressure at all, then!

Daily Duties

As a research investment analyst, you need to make sure that when there’s something to know about the area in which you’re working or in any way looking to invest in, you know about it the second it happens. This means keeping up to date with real-time news from all over the world, watching the markers like a hawk, studying fellow businesses, looking for patterns in historical data, making sure you’re up to date with any changes in tax law and doing all of this while constantly reporting to both your bosses and their clients. And of course, you have to fit your own life into the mix somewhere – good luck with that!

Career Ladder

Of course, to say that all such efforts generally tend to be worthwhile would also be an understatement. If you have what it takes to be a good research investment analyst and are willing to work as long and hard as it takes, there’s quite literally no limit to how far you can go. From making your first million to retiring at a relatively tender age, it’s all possible for those who measure up and give it their all.