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Financial Analyst

Also known as: Corporate Financial Analyst, Corporate Securities Research Analyst, Corporate Statistical Financial Analyst, Institutional Commodity Analyst. Financial analysts provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments.

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments.

There are many different types of Financial Analysts, such as Securities Analysts, Investment Analysts or Ratings Analysts, and they can work for a number of different types of organizations, including insurance companies, investment banks, mutual funds, pension funds, hedge funds and securities firms, as well as companies that operate in any industry in Canada! Each type of analyst will perform different functions and have different responsibilities on a day-to-day basis.

Types of Financial Analysts

Portfolio managers supervise a team of analysts and select the mix of products, industries, and regions for their company’s investment portfolio. These managers not only are responsible for the overall portfolio, but also are expected to explain investment decisions and strategies in meetings with investors.

Fund managers work exclusively with hedge funds or mutual funds. Both fund and portfolio managers frequently make split-second buy or sell decisions in reaction to quickly changing market conditions.

Ratings analysts evaluate the ability of companies or governments to pay their debts, including bonds. On the basis of their evaluation, a management team rates the risk of a company or government not being able to repay its bonds.

Risk analysts evaluate the risk in investment decisions and determine how to manage unpredictability and limit potential losses. This job is carried out by making investment decisions such as selecting dissimilar stocks or having a combination of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds in a portfolio

Daily Tasks / Routine Tasks

1. Interpret data on price, yield, stability, future investment-risk trends, economic influences, and other factors affecting investment programs.

2. Inform investment decisions by analyzing financial information to forecast business, industry, or economic conditions.

3. Monitor fundamental economic, industrial, and corporate developments by analyzing information from financial publications and services, investment banking firms, government agencies, trade publications, company sources, or personal interviews.

4. Draw charts and graphs, using computer spreadsheets, to illustrate technical reports.

5. Monitor developments in the fields of industrial technology, business, finance, and economic theory.

Main Activities

Analyzing Data or Information : Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Getting Information : Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Interacting With Computers : Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, set up functions, enter data, or process information and deeply analyze stock information 

Processing Information : Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates : Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Documenting/Recording Information : Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems :  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work : Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Areas of Knowledge

Economics and Accounting : Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.

Mathematics : Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Administration and Management : Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Customer and Personal Service : Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Clerical : Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Key Abilities

Oral Comprehension : The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Written Comprehension : The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. Mathematical Reasoning : The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.

Mathematical Reasoning : The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.

Number Facility : The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.

Near Vision : The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Oral Expression : The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Deductive Reasoning : The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Inductive Reasoning : The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Top Skills

Analytical skills. Financial analysts must process a range of information in finding profitable investments.

Communication skills. Financial analysts must explain their recommendations to clients in clear language that clients can easily understand.

Computer skills. Financial analysts must be adept at using software packages to analyze financial data, see trends, create portfolios, and make forecasts.

Decision making skills. Financial analysts must provide a recommendation to buy, hold, or sell a security. Fund managers must make split-second trading decisions.

Detail oriented. Financial analysts must pay attention to details when reviewing possible investments, as small issues may have large implications for the health of an investment.

Math skills. Financial analysts use mathematical skills when estimating the value of financial securities.

Active Listening : Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Writing : Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Reading Comprehension : Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking : Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems

Speaking : Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Judgment and Decision Making : Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Time Management : Managing one's own time and the time of others.

To be successful, financial analysts must be motivated to seek out obscure information that may be important to the investment. Many work independently and must have self-confidence in their judgment.


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