In Summary - Financial Analyst
Financial Analysts typically work in the following Career Sectors:
Videos & Interviews
Sarah Tenanty, Finance Operations
Sarah Tenanty Is the Financial Operations Lead for Zurich General Insurance in Ireland. Sarah entered the world of work after completing year one of a Level 8 Accounting and Finance degree at Dundalk Institute of Technology. She has completed her Professional Diploma in Insurance and is currently studying for her Management Diploma in Insurance.
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The Work - Financial Analyst
Investment analysts study the performance of companies and industries so they can make recommendations as to where profitable investments can be made.
There are analysts who work for stockbrokers and analysts employed by investment firms. These two main types are often known as the 'sell side' and the 'buy side' respectively. Stockbroker analysts closely examine a company's annual reports and financial statements to find information on numbers of employees, output, size of profits and turnover. These figures are compared with other companies to assess the outlook for that company's business.
Analysts may visit companies to help decide whether they are worth investing in. They must take into account external factors such as oil prices, political changes or wage settlements. Having gathered and assessed this information, an analyst produces an evaluation of the company's share price and compares this with the value determined by the market.
Both stockbroker analysts and institutional analysts write reports giving details of their findings and recommendations. They may also compile forecasts of the economy as a whole, and of specific industries, to give background detail for their work.
Investment analysts may undertake a considerable amount of travel, depending on their area of responsibility.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Draw charts and graphs, using computer spreadsheets, to illustrate technical reports.
- Inform investment decisions by analyzing financial information to forecast business, industry, or economic conditions.
- Monitor developments in the fields of industrial technology, business, finance, and economic theory.
- Interpret data on price, yield, stability, future investment-risk trends, economic influences, and other factors affecting investment programs.
- 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.
- Recommend investments and investment timing to companies, investment firm staff, or the public.
- Determine the prices at which securities should be syndicated and offered to the public.
- Prepare plans of action for investment, using financial analyses.
- Evaluate and compare the relative quality of various securities in a given industry.
- Present oral or written reports on general economic trends, individual corporations, and entire industries.
Most commonly reported Work 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, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process 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.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Interests - Financial Analyst
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
It is important that you have good numeric skills. A candidate should be confident and have strong organisational skills. Good communication skills are essential for explaining findings to clients, stockbrokers and investment managers and for producing clear, concise reports.
You will need analytical ability to extract relevant information from a mass of detail.
Entry Requirements - Financial Analyst
The official entry route for a Financial Analyst is through undertaking an apprenticeship.
The majority of new entrants to this profession are graduates who start training after a brief period of induction. Graduates of any subject may apply, but holders of Economics, Accountancy, Mathematics or Statistics degrees may have an advantage.
Courses are available at many Universities and IoTs countrywide, ranging from Ordinary Bachelors Degree (Level 7) Honours Degree (Level 8) and Postgraduate Diploma/Masters Degree (Level 9).
There are also number of courses offered by the universities that provide a basis for a career in the financial services sector.
On-the-job training is complemented by study for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification. Three levels of examination measure a candidate's ability to apply the fundamental knowledge of investment principles at a professional level.
The Apprenticeship Council has approved Financial Services Ireland and National College of Ireland to commence delivery of a suite of three unique International Financial Services Apprenticeship Schemes, aimed at school leavers, candidates with third level qualifications and workers looking to upskill.
Initially the 220 apprenticeship places will be for the following positions:
- IFS Generalist (Associate Professional) – open to school leavers/ VEC or PLC student / positive service disposition (entry level roles)
- IFS Specialist – open to career changer / prior career experience / motivated by upskilling and the prospect of an IFS career
- IFS Advanced Specialist – open to those with prior experience and either technical qualification or technical disposition
Last Updated: October, 2014
Pay & Salary - Financial Analyst
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 40k - 70k
Last Updated: February, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Financial Analyst
Employment growth was strong for this occupation and there is evidence that employers are finding it difficult to find suitable candidates in the available labour market. Demand appears to relate primarily to the IT and financial sectors.
National Skills Bulletin 2018
Useful Contacts - Financial Analyst
Irish Stock Exchange
Chartered Financial Analysts Society Ireland (CFA)
Chartered Accountants Ireland