Among the most rigorous, yet rewarding, career options in the financial services industry is that of a financial analyst. But what exactly does a financial analyst do on a daily basis? The answer to this question largely depends on the experience level of the analyst.
Key points to remember
- Financial analysts can work long hours, typically working either on updating financial research and models, or on networking.
- Junior financial analysts typically have less than three years of experience and spend a large portion of their time gathering information and updating financial models.
- Senior analysts, those with three or more years of experience, tend to spend a large portion of their time reviewing their work, developing investment opinions and establishing contact with clients.
- The ebb and flow of an analyst’s day-to-day activities depend on factors such as the timing of results, the lead analyst’s marketing schedule, and whether or not there are ongoing research projects.
While younger analysts tend to do a lot of data collection, financial modeling, and spreadsheet maintenance, more senior analysts tend to spend time developing investment theses, speaking with teams. management of the company and other investors; and marketing ideas (if they are about to sell-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
In the early years of a financial analyst’s career, he can expect to spend most of his time collecting relevant data, updating comparison spreadsheets and financial models, and read relevant industry news and publications. The purpose of these activities is to develop a solid fundamental understanding of a particular business, sector or industry.
Additionally, many younger analysts devote part of their time to studying professional and licensing exams, such as Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams and Series 7 and Series 63 licenses. vary from company to company, the title “junior analyst” is generally used to describe a financial analyst who has less than three years of experience.
Senior analyst: 3+ years of experience
Once a junior analyst achieves a certain level of industry expertise and develops a reasonably strong network of contacts, their professional responsibilities shift to using data to develop an investment opinion. In addition, a senior analyst spends a fair amount of time developing relationships with industry and company contacts, and marketing the team’s work. Mentoring is also an important part of the day-to-day responsibilities of a senior analyst.
Despite the differences in the job responsibilities of a junior and senior analyst, there are similarities in their day-to-day flows. Here we present to you a day in the life of a financial analyst.
A day in the life of a financial analyst
5:30–Consult relevant news
Junior and senior analyst: Check the news to see if there have been any overnight press releases related to the team’s coverage universe, or if there have been any market events.
6:00 am–Put out fires
Junior analyst: If there is any relevant news on the tape, a junior analyst will normally alert the senior analyst in addition to updating the relevant data files and spreadsheets.
Senior analyst: If there is any news on the tape, the senior analyst determines whether or not this affects the analyst’s investment opinions, and what action needs to be taken with that news. If there is no news on the recording, the senior analyst’s morning may involve speaking at the morning company meeting or meeting with institutional clients or team members. management of a company.
Junior analyst: Numerous buy and sell transactions facilitate a daily internal meeting in the morning where key analyst research takeaways 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 presents an investment idea to the company, they can do so at the morning company meeting. Alternatively, the senior analyst can meet with clients or company management.
Junior and senior analyst: Regular contact with other team members across the firm ensures that an analyst’s ideas are well known and understood. From 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., it can be a mix of marketing, relationship building, updating research, and working on long-term projects, among others.
9h00 – Meetings
Junior and senior analyst: Participate in a team meeting with team members.
10:00 am — Updates, calls
Junior analyst: Update the Marketing Slideshow prior to the Senior Analyst’s Marketing Trip. Return the deck to the rest of the team for review.
Senior analyst: Conference call with the company’s management team to clarify certain points regarding the company’s business model and schedule an investor visit to a distribution center. Attend the internal meeting. Go over the logistics for a no-deal road show.
12:00 – Lunch
Junior analyst: Meet a mentor over lunch.
Senior analyst: Lunch with the industry contact (s).
1:30 pm — Research, Revision
Junior analyst: Prepare a research note template before the results are published.
Senior analyst: Review the work of the junior analyst and offer constructive feedback.
2:30 pm — No more updates, calls
Junior analyst: Make the recommended changes to the marketing slideshow.
Senior analyst: Call your clients with the latest investment ideas.
3:30 p.m. — Notices, appeals
Junior analyst: Review the conference call transcripts and the previous quarter’s earnings release before the earnings release.
Senior analyst: Keep calling customers; check with the trading desk regarding unusually high trading volume in a particular security.
5:00 pm — Updates, Reviews
Junior analyst: An income report is published; thus, the junior analyst must update the team’s financial model and the research note model using the data from the results publication. Next, the junior analyst should prepare questions for the company’s management team. All salient points contained in the press release should be brought to the attention of the Senior Analyst and the team.
Senior analyst: Examine the income report for important points. Contact the management team to clarify any questions. Determine the effect of the publication of the results on the analyst’s investment opinion.
8:00 p.m. – No more updates, notices
Junior analyst: Submit the updated research note and financial model to the Senior Analyst for review. Make changes as needed.
Senior analyst: Review the research note and model. Make nuanced changes as needed.
9:00 p.m. – Finalization of the work
Junior analyst: Submit edited and approved research note to supervising analysts for approval.
Senior analyst: Develop talking points for tomorrow morning’s meeting. Examine customer call lists, as calls will need to be made early in the morning.
Junior analyst: The note is published. Prepare for a senior analyst to speak at the morning’s meeting the next day.
Senior analyst: As soon as the note is posted, prepare a voicemail message to broadcast to certain customers.
11:00 p.m. – Lights off
End of the day.
The ebb and flow of an analyst’s day-to-day activities depend on factors such as the timing of results, the lead analyst’s marketing schedule, and whether or not there are ongoing research projects. Overall, a day in the life of a junior or senior analyst can be very laborious. Nonetheless, the payoff is a challenging and (potentially) financially rewarding career.