A day in the life of a financial analyst

One of the more demanding, yet rewarding, career options in the financial services industry is financial analyst. But, exactly, what does a financial analyst do on a day-to-day basis? The answer to this question largely depends on the analyst’s level of experience.

Key takeaways

  • Financial analysts can work long hours, usually either researching and updating financial models or working on networking.
  • Junior financial analysts typically have less than three years of experience and spend most of their time gathering information and updating financial models.
  • Senior analysts, those with three or more years of experience, spend most of their time reviewing work, developing investment opinions, and networking with clients.
  • An analyst’s day-to-day activities depend on factors such as the revenue calendar, the senior analyst’s marketing calendar, and whether or not research projects are ongoing.

While younger analysts tend to do a lot of data gathering, financial modeling, and spreadsheet maintenance, more senior analysts prepare investment papers, speak with company management teams and other investors, and do marketing. Spend time on ideas (if they are on sale). – side). Let’s take a closer look at a day in the life of a junior and senior financial analyst.

Junior Analyst: 0-3 years of experience

During the first few years of a financial analyst’s career, expect to spend most of his time gathering relevant data, updating comparative spreadsheets and financial models, and reading relevant news and industry publications. can. The purpose of these activities is to develop a solid foundational understanding of a particular business, sector, or industry.

Additionally, many young analysts spend a portion of their time studying for professional and licensing exams, such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams, and the Series 7 and Series 63 licenses. Although position titles vary among firms, the title “junior analyst” is generally used to describe a financial analyst with less than three years of experience.

Senior Analyst: 3+ years of experience

Once a junior analyst has acquired a certain level of industry expertise and developed a reasonably strong network of contacts, their professional responsibilities include using data to develop investment opinions. I change. Additionally, a senior analyst spends a lot of time building relationships with industry and company contacts and marketing the team’s work. Mentoring is also an important component of a senior analyst’s day-to-day responsibilities.

Despite the differences in the professional responsibilities of a junior and senior analyst, there are similarities in the flow of their days. Here, we bring you a day in the life of a financial analyst.

A day in the life of a financial analyst

5:30 am—Check related news.
Junior and Senior Analysts: Check the news to see if there are any overnight news releases related to the team’s coverage universe, or any market-moving events.

6:00 a.m.—Put out the fire.
Junior Analyst: If there is relevant news on tape, a junior analyst usually alerts the senior analyst in addition to updating relevant data files and spreadsheets.

Senior Analyst: If there is news on tape, the senior analyst determines whether or not it affects the analyst’s investment opinion, and how much action should be taken with the news. If there is no news on tape, the senior analyst’s morning may involve speaking at the firm’s morning meeting or meeting with institutional clients or members of the company’s management team.

7:00 a.m.—Morning meetings.
Junior Analysts: Many sell-side and buy-side operations facilitate daily morning internal meetings in which key aspects of analyst research are discussed. Junior analysts are generally encouraged to attend this meeting as it broadens their knowledge base among other benefits.

Senior Analyst: If a senior analyst is presenting an investment idea to the firm, the analyst may do so during the firm’s morning meeting. Alternatively, the senior analyst may meet with clients or company management.

8:00 a.m.—Check-in
Junior and Senior Analysts: Regular communication with other team members across the firm ensures that analyst views are well known and understood. 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM. This can be a mix of marketing, making connections, updating research and working on long-term projects, among other things.

Meetings at 9:00 a.m
Junior and Senior Analysts: Attend team meetings with team members.

10:00 am. Updates, calls
Junior Analyst: Update the marketing slide deck before the senior analyst’s marketing trip. Provide decks to other team members for review.

Senior Analyst: Hold a conference call with the company management team to clarify some points about the company’s business model and schedule an investor visit to the distribution center. Attend an internal meeting. Review logistics for a no-deal roadshow.

12:00 noon — Lunch
Junior Analyst: Meet a mentor over lunch.

Senior Analyst: Lunch with industry contacts.

1:30 p.m.—Research, review
Junior Analyst: Prepare a research note template before an earnings release.

Since the mid-2000s the rise of powerful technology firms, such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon, has resulted in a large percentage of young talent choosing technology companies over finance.

Senior Analyst: Review the work of the junior analyst and provide constructive feedback.

2:30 p.m. More updates, calls
Junior Analyst: Make suggested changes to the Marketing Slide Deck.

Senior Analyst: Call clients with the latest investment ideas.

3:30 p.m. — Reviews, calls
Junior Analyst: Review conference call transcripts and earnings releases from the first quarter prior to the earnings release.

Senior Analyst: Continue to call clients; Check in with the trading desk about unusually high trading volume in a particular stock.

5:00 p.m. Updates, reviews
Junior Analyst: Earnings report released. As such, the junior analyst should update the team’s financial model and research note template using the earnings release data. The junior analyst should then formulate questions for the company’s management team. Any important points included in the press release should be flagged by the senior analyst and the team.

Senior Analyst: Review the earnings report looking for any key points. Contact the management team to clarify any questions. Determine the effect of an earnings release on an analyst’s investment opinion.

8:00 p.m.—More updates, reviews.
Junior Analyst: Submit revised research note and financial model to Senior Analyst for review. Make changes as needed.

Senior Analyst: Review research notes and models. Make minor changes as needed.

9:00 p.m.—Finalize work.
Junior Analyst: Submit revised and approved research notes to supervising analysts for approval.

Senior Analyst: Prepare talking points for tomorrow morning’s meeting. Review client call lists as early morning calls will be required.

Junior Analyst: The note is published. Prepare for the senior analyst to speak at the next morning’s meeting.

Senior Analyst: As soon as the note is published, prepare a voice mail blast to distribute to specific clients.

11:00 p.m. — lights out
End of the day.

What does a financial analyst do?

Financial analysts work in financial institutions, such as banks, insurance companies, and investment funds. “Financial analyst” is a broad term that can include a variety of specific roles in finance. Generally, financial analysts analyze financial statements of companies to determine good investments, they analyze stocks, bonds and other financial instruments. Financial analysts help determine the value of mergers and acquisitions. They study economic data, financial markets and make investment recommendations. Financial analysts spend time predicting investment returns and assessing investment risk through various modeling techniques.

What are the basic skills a financial analyst has?

Financial analysts must have critical thinking skills, presentation skills, analytical skills, modeling skills, understanding of finance, economics, and financial markets, and personality.

How much do financial analysts earn?

Financial analyst salaries will vary depending on the specific company and job, as well as the level of the financial analyst. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a financial analyst is $83,660 per year as of 2020 (latest data available).

The bottom line

An analyst’s day-to-day activities depend on factors such as the revenue calendar, the senior analyst’s marketing calendar, and whether or not research projects are ongoing. In general, a day in the life of a junior or senior analyst can be very demanding. Nevertheless, payment is a challenging and (potentially) financially rewarding career.

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