Equity Research Careers

Updated on April 4, 2024
Article byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Edited byPallabi Banerjee
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Are Equity Research Careers?

The concept of an equity research career explains the methodology or steps that help in making a career in the field of complete company analysis, which facilitates the management, along with investors and other stakeholders, to make critical financial decisions.

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Individuals who wish to become experts in this field, may conduct this research based on some limited resources like company financial statements and annual reports. But the company has access to other important resources like financial databases, skilled analysts, and other details that are not available to outsiders.  The final aim of this job is to gain clarity about the business and also decide on its fair stock prices.

Equity Research Career Explained

Equity research refers to the in-depth analysis of the companies to provide relevant data and valuation information to the investors, traders, fund managers to plan their strategies for the investments. Equity research job helps in studying the company and its financials in detail. The investors can be serviced by providing them with relevant information about the buy/sell/hold call.

  • It is divided into buy-side and sell-side equity research firms.
    1. Buy-Side: In buy-side, there is an in-house equity research team that advises the investment team on the buy-sell strategies on the selected stocks in the portfolio.
    2. Sell-Side: In sell-side, various companies provide Research Services for their HNI or institutional investors to make an informed decision.
  • The equity research analyst careers process is divided into the below-mentioned stages to analyze a company and provide a recommendation.
    1. Company Profile: Understanding the business model of the company and the quality of the top management in making strategic decisions.
    2. Financial Analysis: It refers to the analysis of the financial information of the company and studying the impact of the ratios on prospects.
    3. Sector Research: It refers to the sector level analysis in which the companies operate to have an understanding of the positioning of the company as compared to their peers.
    4. Economic Analysis: It refers to the economic analysis regarding the macro-level research on infrastructure and other relevant criteria for the company to progress.
  • The path for this equity research analyst careers opportunity involves a proper understanding of the business, preparing a checklist that will mention every detail, experience and knowledge that the analyst gains form the investments and finally estimating the fair value of the shares. Below are some of the top Equity Research jobs that you can look for in your career.
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  • Equity research professionals are employed by stock broking houses, investment banks, credit rating agencies, banks, KPOS, and venture capitalist firms.

Example

Let us understand the concept of equity research career path with the help of a suitable example.

Let us take the example of Max, who has a bachelor’s degree in economics and is also a CFA charterholder. He has strong analytical skill and is proficient in handling data analysis and financial modelling, along with good communication skill which is an important requirement in conveying analysis reports.

He has the practice remining updated about industry practices and any changes in market trends. Thus, his education and background helped him in landing into a career as equity research analysts, where he has to create financial models, through various valuation approaches, benchmark business using different operational and financial statistics, create presentation on the same. He also has to make presentation and conference calls related to investments in his equity research career path.

Thus, the career in equity research is not only complex but also lucrative and interesting, offering many avenues to learn and grow.

List of Top 5 Careers in Equity Research

Career #1 – Market Research Analyst

Who is a Market Research Analyst?

Market Research Analyst is employed by the financial services firm to do the required research of the market or any specific industry to help the fund managers in their decision making.

Market Research Analyst – Job Description
ResponsibilitiesLeading the buy-side and sell-side research for the company and preparing various research reports on the current & future market outlook & trends in the sector for the fund manager to make an informed decision.
DesignationMarket Research Analyst
Actual RoleHe will study the market as a whole and come out with a report on the opportunities and challenges in the current market and the road map for the days to come.
Top CompaniesJP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Evercore, Citi, Barclays, UBS & RBC.
SalaryThe median annual salary for a research analyst as of May 2018 was $ 63,120 as per the bureau of labor statistics of US (https://www.bls.gov).
Demand & SupplyDemand for research analysts will continue to grow at a faster pace with the advancement in technology & market turmoils. It is a highly-skilled job that requires extensive exposure to the financial markets and the ability to communicate both in reports and in person.
Education RequirementA bachelor’s degree or CFA or an MBA from a reputed college.
Recommended CoursesCFA/MBA/CPA
PositivesHigh growth potential in the future with heavy compensation and exciting job profile researching the market as a whole.
NegativesLong working hours researching various industries/sectors can be a tiring job.

Career #2 – Sector Research Specialist

Who is a Sector Research Specialist?

Sector Research Specialists focus only on specific sectors in the industry and generate quality reports on their developments.

Sector Research Specialist – Job Description
ResponsibilitiesResponsible for researching the allotted sector by the fund manager and coming up with fact-based research reports on the same consolidating information from various sources.
DesignationSector Research Specialist
Actual RoleThis is a sector expert and will exclusively work on that particular sector only.
Top CompaniesJP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Evercore, Citi, Barclays, UBS & RBC.
SalaryThe median annual salary for a research analyst as of May 2018 was $ 63,120 as per the bureau of labor statistics of us (https://www.bls.gov).
Demand & SupplyA high demand profile since it requires extensive experience and knowledge of the allotted sector and the challenges in the same in the future.
Education RequirementCPA/MBA from Tier -1 Universities with at least 5-10 yrs of exp.
Recommended CoursesCPA/MBA/CFP/CFA
PositivesSector-focused profile enables the analyst to concentrate on one sector only and gain as much knowledge as possible which will surely help him in a professional career.
NegativesLong working hours researching various industries/sectors can be a tiring job. Focusing on only one sector may leave opportunities in other growing sectors and the profile will be restricted to that sector only which can be a hindrance to the candidate in the long term. Long working hours researching various industries/sectors can be a tiring job.

Career #3 – Senior Equity Research Analyst

Who is a Senior Equity Research Analyst?

Financial Planning & Analysis takes care of the budgets of the company in the FP&A department. Every company has its FP&A department to take care of the financial projections and prepare a business plan on a periodic basis to showcase the roadmap for the future.

Senior Equity Research Analyst – Job Description
ResponsibilitiesResponsible for mentoring the junior analyst team and giving them the required skills and knowledge to perform their duties.
DesignationSenior Equity Research Analyst
Actual RoleManages the team of analysts and reports the findings along with his opinion and recommendation on the same to the fund manager.
Top CompaniesJP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Evercore, Citi, Barclays, UBS & RBC.
SalaryThe median annual salary for a senior research analyst can be anywhere between $1,00,000 to $2,00,000.
Demand & SupplyHigh demand and low supply due to the technical and practical experience required.
Education RequirementCFA/CPA/MBA from Tier -1 Universities with at least 5-10 yrs of exp.
Recommended CoursesCFA/CPA/MBA
PositivesExtensive knowledge-gathering because of constant research making the person expert in the field.
NegativesLong working hours and having to report in the office before market hours. the candidate in the long term. Long working hours researching various industries/sectors can be a tiring job.

Career #4 – Fund Manager

Who is a Fund Manager?

Fund Manager manages the fund in the company on behalf of the investors.

Fund Manager – Job Description
ResponsibilitiesResponsible for buying/selling the stocks in the portfolio as per his understanding.
DesignationFund Manager
Actual RoleManage the portfolio of the fund through buying and selling securities in the equity/debt markets.
Job StatisticsThe Bureau of Labor Statistics does not display data on this role.
Top CompaniesJP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Evercore, Citi, Barclays, UBS & RBC.
SalaryThe median annual salary for a general manager can be anywhere between $ 2,00,000 – $5,00,000 excluding bonuses.
Demand & SupplyA high demand profile in the market and highly paid since these are specialized services which require extensive expertise in the field.
Education RequirementCFA/MBA/IIM/CPA
Recommended CoursesCFA/MBA/IIM/CPA
PositivesBeing a fund manager, he interacts directly with the CEO and top management of companies to know their strategy ahead in order to take a call on whether to hold or sell the stock.
NegativesHigh risk since public money is being invested.

Career #5 – Chief Investment Officer

Who is a Chief Investment Officer?

Chief Investment Officer leads the equity team in the financial services company and manages the fund managers.

Chief Investment Officer – Job Description
ResponsibilitiesTo make sure the funds are showing good performances by keeping track of their decisions.
DesignationCIO
Actual RoleSpearhead the research and the fund management division of the company and be the face for the company in the market to the public and the shareholders.
Top CompaniesJP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Evercore, Citi, Barclays, UBS & RBC.
SalaryThe median annual salary for the same can be anywhere between $ 5,00,000 to $10,00,000.
Demand & SupplyHighly demanded profile since the CIO is a strategic position in the company to drive the fund performance.
Education RequirementCFP/CPA/MBA from Tier -1 Universities with at least 20-25 yrs of exp.
Recommended CoursesCPA/MBA/CFA
PositivesHe is the face of the company in the financial markets and also the official spokesperson on the company’s strategies.
NegativesOne wrong investment decision may close down the entire fund and the company in no time.

It is to be noted that there is no available short-cut to this concept of equity research career progression, and it needs a very thorough analysis from start to end. Therefore, the candidates who become successful in this kind of career opportunity have a very curious and motivated intellect along with the ability to collect valuable and updated information about any sector or industry. They are able to classify and review them along with interpreting business models.

These professionals in the field of equity research career progression are able to identify the market in which the companies are operating along with their risk taking and management ability. They have a keen desire to study company and industry reports, new articles, blogs, etc to develop expertise.

Such professionals usually work within a team who conduct a very high-quality analysis about company and market trends, changes in company policy to keep customers and investors informed. They can also create content that for reports, blogs, videos, which are engaging and effective in communicating research insights to clients to address their needs. However, everything should be done based on rules and regulatory guidelines.

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This has been a guide to what are Equity Research Careers. We explain them with example and a list of top 5 career options in this field. You may also have a look at these finance career articles below –

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