So, you want to become a portfolio analyst? You have come to the right place. Here are a few commonly asked questions and answers becoming a portfolio analyst.
Portfolio Analyst Definition
Portfolio analysts make assessments regarding investment decisions. Based on their research and their professional expertise, they then make recommendations regarding whether specific securities should be bought, held or sold, according to Investopedia. This means they spend their days poring over reams of financial news and data. They need to be able to communicate and defend their recommendations both verbally and in writing, so excellent communication skills are a must. If you have any aversion to working with numbers or advising people who may potentially be skeptical of the advice you are giving them, the professional life of a portfolio analyst probably is not the professional life for you. If the idea of these activities being a large part of your day-to-day job responsibilities is acceptable to you, I would suggest that you read on to the next section.
At a minimum, you will need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Once you have finished your undergraduate degree and have a few years of work experience under your belt, you may want to consider pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) to increase the depth of your financial market knowledge base and add tools to your professional repertoire.
You do not need any specific type of degree to become a portfolio analyst. The finance industry is populated with people who have backgrounds in business, engineering, law, medicine, the hard sciences, politics, the humanities, the arts, journalism, mathematics and economics, among others. Regardless of what else you study, some basic knowledge of economics, finance, and mathematics will be essential to your success as a portfolio analyst. Even if they are not part of your major’s requirements, you would be well advised to supplement your education with courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, business statistics, financial markets, corporate finance, organizational theory, international economics, securities analysis and business law. This will give you the foundation you need to begin your career as a portfolio analyst.
Careers as a portfolio analyst will be mainly with large financial institutions, such as investment banks on Wall Street and credit rating institutions. Jobs can also be found with professional services firms, such as the Big 4 accounting firms, hedge funds, insurance companies, large pension funds, healthcare organizations, government agencies and any other entity with money to invest. Wherever you decide to work, you should have relatively little difficulty finding a lucrative position that affords you the job security you want.
If you want a challenging career that will allow you to use your analytical and problem-solving skills on a daily basis and provide you with a great deal of job security, you should give serious thought to becoming a portfolio analyst.