*Salary range derived from OFLC job titles

What does a investment analyst do?

An investment analyst is a type of financial analyst who examines and analyzes global investment data to provide guidance about investment decisions. Investment analysts support businesses or shareholders by providing investment recommendations that minimize potential loss and maximize potential growth. Most investment analysts have a specific area of expertise, be it a region, industry, or asset class.

What skills do you need to become an investment analyst?

If you’re planning to become an investment analyst, you need strong research skills, as much of your day consists of studying trends, compiling historical data, and reviewing financial records. Additionally, you need excellent analytical and communication skills to translate your calculations into crystal-clear reports and presentations for stakeholders. To make investment recommendations, you need first-rate decision-making abilities. And, to communicate those decisions, you need to be able to play well with others as you negotiate and persuade. People won’t always agree with you, but as the expert, it’s your job to convince them otherwise. Finally, many investment analysts work with global markets, which means straddling time zones—and working long hours without buckling under the pressure.

What experience and/or certifications do you need to be an investment analyst?

The vast majority of investment analyst jobs require a bachelor’s degree from a four-year institution, and a master’s is even better. Investment analysts graduate with a variety of majors, but degrees in finance, business administration, economics, mathematics, and statistics are the most popular. If you’re planning to apply to an investment analyst role, you’ll want to hone your software and Excel savvy, with a focus on financial analysis software, such as SAS, QlikView, Tableau, and MATLAB. The best way to get ahead of the competition is by maintaining a history of investment success, so be ready to share your prior profitable investments with would-be employers.

More than 75 percent of analysts have done one or more internships before applying to a full-time analyst role, and real-world experience is the best way to distinguish yourself. Once you get your first job, you’ll likely need to get your license from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a private regulatory corporation. FINRA offers several specific licenses, as well as three general ones. Your employer will tell you which license(s) you need; you don’t have to be licensed prior to applying to a certain role. Instead, your employer will sponsor an appropriate licensing program once they’re hired you.

Many investment analysts aspire to certification. They enroll in the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program, a challenging post-graduate program that requires three exams, work experience, and reference letters. Each exam requires approximately 300 hours of preparation time (according to the CFA). Most people take 2–5 years to complete the entire process. Being a CFA is certainly impressive, but it’s a lot of work, too. Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) is another well-known certification, which also requires work experience, background checks, and two exams.

What companies and industries employ investment analysts?  

Investment analysts are most likely to be employed with larger organizations, including banks, insurance companies, private equity firms, stockbrokers, and large charities. Investment analysts can find jobs in major US cities, including New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.

What is the job outlook and salary for investment analyst roles?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for financial/investment analysts will grow by 6% over the next decade. The average financial analyst makes a median annual wage of $85,660.

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Browse internships that lead to a Investment Analyst career

Transaction Analysts
Alvarez & Marsal
Englewood, CO
Internship
15 days ago
Alvarez & Marsal
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Englewood, CO
Internship
15 days ago
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Transaction Analysts
Alvarez & Marsal
Nashville, TN
Internship
15 days ago
Alvarez & Marsal
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Nashville, TN
Internship
15 days ago
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Investment Management
NOMURA
New York, NY
Internship
185 days ago
NOMURA
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New York, NY
Internship
185 days ago
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Investment Portfolio Managers
The Hartford
Hartford, CT
Internship
28 days ago
The Hartford
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Hartford, CT
Internship
28 days ago
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Investment Banking Analysts
Scotiabank
Houston, TX
Internship
32 days ago
Scotiabank
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Houston, TX
Internship
32 days ago
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Investment Banking Analysts
Citigroup
London, OH
Internship
16 days ago
Citigroup
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London, OH
Internship
16 days ago
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Investment Banking Analysts
Citigroup
Stockholm, ME
Internship
18 days ago
Citigroup
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Stockholm, ME
Internship
18 days ago
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Investment Banking Analysts
Citigroup
Madrid, IA
Internship
17 days ago
Citigroup
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Madrid, IA
Internship
17 days ago
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Investment Banking Analysts
Citigroup
Milano, TX
Internship
9 days ago
Citigroup
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Milano, TX
Internship
9 days ago
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Investment Management
NOMURA
New York, NY
paid Internship
129 days ago
NOMURA
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New York, NY
paid Internship
129 days ago
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Investment Banking Analysts
Robert W Baird & Company
New York, NY
Internship
26 days ago
Robert W Baird & Company
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New York, NY
Internship
26 days ago
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Investment Banking Analysts
Scotiabank
New York, NY
Internship
31 days ago
Scotiabank
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New York, NY
Internship
31 days ago
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Investment Banking Analysts
Scotiabank & Trust
New York, NY
Internship
14 days ago
Scotiabank & Trust
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New York, NY
Internship
14 days ago
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Investment Risk Analysts
Reinsurance Group of America
Chesterfield, MO
Internship
19 days ago
Reinsurance Group of America
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Chesterfield, MO
Internship
19 days ago
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Institutional Portfolio Managers
Fund Evaluation Group
Cincinnati, OH
Internship
21 days ago
Fund Evaluation Group
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Cincinnati, OH
Internship
21 days ago
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