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Pursuing a career in the financial industry can lead to countless possibilities. Among them, there are various types of financial analyst jobs that can be quite rewarding. There are numerous levels and types of financial analyst opportunities that differ based on the expertise and experience that a professional has earned and that are dependent on the side of the markets that is being covered. There are junior and senior financial analyst jobs in addition to those that focus on either the buy side and the sell side of the markets. Compensation can be lucrative, depending on the experience of the research analyst.
There are financial analyst jobs to cover the buy side and sell side of the markets. On either side, there is a wide range of possibilities, from entry-level positions to more senior roles. The buy side encompasses financial analyst opportunities within large financial institutions, such as mutual funds, hedge funds or a pension funds.
These financial analysts, also known as research analysts, are responsible for identifying opportunities for the investment management staff within the financial institution. The opportunities that are recommendations are intended to outperform broader market barometers, and as a result, investors pay lofty fees in some cases for these types of expected profits. Financial analysts are often compensated quite generously for this reason.
There are similar financial analyst jobs on the sell side of the markets. These professionals work within a standalone brokerage firm or in the brokerage division of a larger investment bank. Financial analyst jobs on this side of the market differ mostly in that these professionals are responsible for uncovering investment opportunities for clients rather than for money managers within that firm. Clients are investors, large or small. These research analysts also must determine investment opportunities that are not worthy of investment or that are risky selections.
Sell-side analysts often grade investment opportunities based on the likelihood that returns or profits will be generated. If the analyst recognizes a growth opportunity for some reason, such as identifying a stock that has lost value without proper reason and probably will recoup some of its loses, the analyst could assign a buy rating, which is an indication to investors that there is a profit opportunity. A sell rating indicates that investors who hold a security such as a stock should rid themselves of this investment for some reason, most likely because the stock is at risk of losing value. A hold rating suggests that investors should do nothing if they already own the security and should wait a while if they are considering purchasing the stock.