So you’ve thought about going into finance, but don’t want to be an investment banking analyst. Or maybe you tried going the banking route and it just wasn’t for you. There are plenty of options for a career in finance outside of investment banking. If you’re looking for a better work-life balance and solid career prospects, an equity research associate job could be perfect for you.
Equity research teams are responsible for researching companies, predicting potential earnings, and analyzing overall market trends to deliver investment recommendations to portfolio managers. Reporting to a senior research analyst, an equity research associate helps assemble quarterly research reports published across the industry.
So what does all that entail? Keep reading to see what it’s like working as an equity research associate.
What does an Equity Research Associate do?
Equity research associates are placed in a senior analyst’s team that usually covers 5-8 companies within an industry. Although financial modeling skills are a must, it’s a common misconception that it will take up the majority of your day. Equity research associates will sometimes help construct models but the majority of the time they will only be updating them when earnings reports are released or tweaks need to be made.
In reality, equity research associates do exactly what their job title implies – research. This involves reading daily news regarding the sector, talking to the buy-side investors to gauge sentiment and truly becoming experts on certain companies. This takes a laser-focused mindset, attention to detail and excellent verbal and written communication skills.
Associates help publish quarterly earnings reports on companies they cover, as well as reports on any industry conferences or events. These reports not only build expertise and experience, they provide investment ideas to the firm’s salesforce and traders. They then leverage the findings to encourage investors to make trades through the bank to secure more trading revenue.
What does an Equity Research Associate get paid?
Depending on location and years of experience, equity research associates can make anywhere from $55K-$150K. In more competitive talent markets like NYC, salaries tend to be on the higher end of the range. Additional education qualifications like a CFA or MBA can also contribute to higher compensation levels.
What comes after being an Equity Research Associate?
The typical equity research career progresses from associate to analyst to senior analyst to a director role that heads up the equity research functions. Analysts have more responsibility than associates in the research process and spend more time writing reports and recommending investment moves. Senior analysts will usually oversee an entire research team and investment portfolio before potentially moving into a director role.
With such a limited hierarchy, most associates usually find promotion opportunities outside their own firm. Others decide to exit the industry and move into hedge funds, where there’s a direct skill set overlap in evaluating public market investments and making recommendations. Regardless, both staying or leaving the industry promises a solid and stable career path.
Interested in becoming an equity research associate? Search equity research associate jobs currently posted on OneWire.