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What is an Equity Analyst?

An equity analyst studies financial data and trends for a company.
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  • Written By: Rachel Burkot
  • Edited By: Lindsay D.
  • Last Modified Date: 23 August 2014
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An equity analyst is a person who analyzes financial data and trends for a company. An equity or financial analyst studies public records of businesses in order to predict the company’s future financial needs. The analyst writes reports on company finances and describes the business’s investment potential by assigning financial ratings, such as buy, sell, hold, etc. The equity analyst is also responsible for analyzing the budget and creating a plan to get out of debt, if the company is in such a financial situation.

Daily tasks of a financial analyst are varied, from studying and researching to writing and drafting paperwork and making presentations. In the past, the analyst got most of the company’s financial information from meetings with the managers, but because of new fair disclosure laws, the data must be obtained by the analyst through public records, annual reports and information made available on the internet. Additionally, public conference calls are a means to obtain the data.

An equity analyst works in brokerage, analyst or securities firms, equity or security investment markets, banks, insurance companies, mutual or pension funds, and other businesses. When a financial analyst works in a company that lends, duties are expanded to include investigating lending risks. An equity analyst must be observant and trend-focused. He or she should pay attention to everything about the company, not just the financial sector, because trends in any division of the business will have an impact on that business’s finances.

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Tools that a person in this position works with include statistical software, calculators and spreadsheets. Analysts must posses solid analytical, mathematical, computer and communication skills. They must be able to work individually or as a team. With budgets or financial records, an equity analyst often does the research and analysis alone. When large company projects are impacted by a financial situation, such as mergers or takeovers, the financial analyst will work with other departments of the company, interpreting the financial consequences so that the best decision can be made.

An equity analyst usually has either a Master of Finance (MSF) or Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from graduate level training. Many analysts are also consultants or accountants. To become an equity analyst, one should get the proper degrees and experience. Internships with companies in the financial industry are good ways to get started. Showcasing strong abilities to analyze and communicate can provide an edge over other candidates.

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Eviemae
Post 3

@tlcJPC – I’ve been wondering about much the same thing! I am thinking of switching careers, and financial analysis is a title that really as my interested piqued!

My question is a little less about number figures, though, and more about stability. Does anyone have any idea if this is a recession proof position? In other words, is it growing in popularity, going out of style or is it actually projected to grow during uncertain times?

After all, I would rather make $50,000 a year for the next 5 years than $75,000 to start with a layoff pending.

tlcJPC
Post 2

I do not have a business degree, although I do have bachelors in an unrelated topic. I do, however, have a really good head for numbers and business in general.

I have been thinking of going from a small business owner into a more cooperate arena, and think that this might be just the job for me. I’m ready to get my master’s, but before I do, I want to make sure the time and energy (and money) is well spent!

So, how much does an equity research analyst make on average?

oscar23
Post 1

I always think of homes and how much equity a person has in their homes when I think of the word ‘equity.’ So, I was a little blown away when I read that an equity analyst specializes in business finances.

Are their equity analysts that can work with regular people to determine the true amount of equity in their home, or are they too high paid on the cooperate level for this kind of ditch digging?

We’ve had several appraisals of our home over the past few years, and it definitely seems like the value is largely dependent on the person looking at it. It sure would be nice to have a really good base to start from.

One appraiser said that it was worth $25,000 less than another did! Maybe he needed a finance analyst to help him out!

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