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What Qualities Do You Need to Become an Investment Banker?

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  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 25 March 2014
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In addition to a comprehensive financial education and adequate work experience, a few of the qualities needed to become an investment banker include strong negotiating skills, marketing skills, an ability to understand the totality of individual investment deals, as well as a keen understanding of domestic and foreign financial markets. Whether working for a financial institution or as a boutique investment banker, other highly desirable qualities include strong interpersonal skills, analytical skills, an ability to combine and implement multiple strategies to complete investment projects, and a willingness to work 50 hours per week or more. Individuals hoping to work in this field should also have a high math competency, as well as strong accounting skills.

With some investment bankers earning in excess of $20,000 US Dollars (USD) per week, careers in investment banking can be highly lucrative and personally rewarding. Whether working in corporate banking or individual banking, however, such careers also tend to be highly competitive. Individuals striving to become an investment banker must, therefore, possess additional qualities to beat out competitors, as well as achieve a positive reputation within the financial industry.

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A person hoping to work as an investment banker should also have a natural aptitude for working as part of a team. Leadership skills are particularly of value in this effort, as investment bankers often are required to gather together executives and other business professionals with strong personalities to complete an investment strategy. An ability to communicate with individuals with diverse interests and negotiate different investment structures is crucial to this endeavor.

It is not uncommon for individuals in the banking industry to work with foreign investors, foreign projects or foreign investment vehicles. It is therefore critical for individuals hoping to become an investment banker to possess the ability to understand the inner workings of foreign financial markets, in addition to understanding how domestic markets work. In addition, investment bankers must also have a knack for working well with people from other cultures.

Anyone planning to do investment banking must also be able to accomplish technical tasks in an adroit manner. Such tasks include creating and reading computer-generated spreadsheets, operating specialized computer programs and performing, as well as verifying, technical research. Even if a person possesses all or most of the qualities needed to become an investment banker, she or he must still be able to network within the industry, as well as market oneself well in order to obtain a position as an investment banker.

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