What Employers Want in Equity Researchers?


What employers want
What employers want

Last month, I had the chance to meet the founder of a financial research company (Read “Financial KPO”) in Pune, India. As a trainer of equity research, I wanted to have first-hand-information on what employers look in candidates.

Apart from graduation, there are other skills which are equally important to succeed in careers like Equity Research, Investment Banking, Private Equity, Mutual Funds and other positions related to finance.

In this article, I am going to talk draw my experience as an equity research trainer and my conversations with people from the finance industry to give you a sneak peak of what employers are actually looking for in an ideal candidate.

Read this carefully and internalize it. Next time you go for an interview, you should be better prepared.

What Do Employers want in Education?

The candidate should meet the basic education criterion which is a graduate or post-graduate degree in finance, commerce or management. In some cases, engineers are also eligible to apply. An MBA holder in Finance can also become an equity researcher.

Now, I know that education is important but you are not going to get that coveted job only on the basis of few degrees. You need to show skills, even if you are a complete fresher.

What Do Employers want in Skills?

The skill requirement depends on your experience level. If you are a fresher, the employer wants a working knowledge of how to use Excel in equity calculations and knowledge of various equity-related concepts.

If you have 1-2 years of experience, the employer, in addition to the above, wants attuned analytical skills and use of logic in preparing ratio analysis, income statement and balance sheet.

You must have a basic knowledge of financial modeling, report writing skills, and fluency in English for both written and spoken communication.

Critical thinking is an important equity research skill.

This means the ability to use logic and reasoning for ascertaining the weaknesses and strengths of any problem.

You need to have excellent reading; writing and speaking skills because you are required to read detailed work documents, prepare research reports and verbally communicate information to others without any error.

The candidate should possess decision-making and complex problem-solving skills.

Even though the equity researcher works with a team, he/she often needs to think independently, be accountable and take self-motivated initiatives.

The researcher has to analyze and solve complex problems.

It is also an equity research skill to be an active learner.

Learning isn't static here. There is a high learning curve because new information keeps coming in and they impact current and future situations and decisions.

The equity researcher needs to assess and monitor performance, take corrective actions and initiate improvements in the working process. Sometimes the researcher is required to set up a system to record and analyze performances. The person-in-charge has to determine the working conditions of the research system and its impact on the working environment.

Time is of critical importance here. Though it is ‘research’ work, you have to remain on top of trends; therefore, quick thinking, assimilation of information and processing it quickly is essential. Therefore, as a member of the equity research team, you have to value not only yours but the time of others too.

Take note of these subjects:

  • Economics
  • English Language
  • Accounting
  • Mathematics
  • Computers
  • Administration
  • Law
  • Management
  • Government
  • Education Training
  • Media

…and others! These are some subjects on which the researcher should have some working knowledge.

More than everything, you need the right attitude, social perceptiveness, persuasion, negotiation, coordination skills and confidence to become an equity researcher. There is no way you can rate one skill as more important than the other; all are equally important.

Your Working Style

Now, until you are working with the company, it is difficult for the employers to ascertain your working style.

Surely, an interview cannot illustrate it but if you internalize the characteristics given below and use them while working, it will do wonders to your career graph.

Of course, if the interviewer asks questions about the same, you can talk about the same characteristics.

To begin with, equity research is a stressful job.

Therefore, you need to have high tolerance level towards stress, which includes remaining calm in highly stressful and critical situations.

You need to pay great attention to detail.

Any wrong information or an erroneous graph can spoil the whole research.

You should be a dependable and responsible person who is reliable and whose actions are accountable, that is, backed by logic and reasoning.

Maintaining personal integrity and persistence is important too.

It is essential for an equity researcher to possess high analytical thinking to process information.

You have to be adaptable towards working conditions such as an abrupt change in time schedule, take the initiative towards facing challenges, cooperate with colleagues but have the capacity to work independently, maintain composure and self-control in any situation, never let emotions drive decisions and you should display leadership skills.

You should have good networking skills and motivated to bring new ideas to the table.

Job Seeker vs. Contributor

Many times, I keep getting emails asking for placement.

My simple advice to these people is to learn skills, add more value to your resume and possess the right attitude and networking skills.

Believe it when I say that employers are not looking for job-seekers, they are looking for people who can contribute, take bigger responsibilities and have long-term vision and a real passion for working in the equity sector.

I will empower you and make you smart enough through my interaction here.

I am here to teach you strategies that will help you make a long term career in equity research, investment banking, private equity and financial KPOs.

One Advice

If you think, you can make your career in equity research without the above skills, think again! This career requires your passion and contribution.

So, if you really want to learn these strategies, stick to this place and see the change within you.

Share your ideas, suggestions, and experience with me.

What Employers Want in Equity Researchers? 1
What Employers Want in Equity Researchers? 2

37 thoughts on “What Employers Want in Equity Researchers?”

  1. Sir,
    I am from kolkata completing B.com graduation and 4 years of experience in as a Financial Accountant at the age 26.But i do have always passion for capital market and Research on stocks and investment banking,Which i do personally.As I am from kolkata so i am not getting enough courses or opportunity related to this field which involved classroom help.At present i am pursuing Mba in finance from sikkim manipal university in distance mode.Is that distance Mba carry any value and helps me to get a job in Equity Research Analyst or Investment Banking? Is that 4 years of experience will be counted any way or i will be treated as a fresher for a job in Equity Research Analyst field? Does skills like financial modelling, Investment banking and Nism certifications and Chartered Wealth Manager helps me to grab a job In Equity Research Analyst or Investement banking field?If i get a job in Equity Research Analyst field do i have to start with low payscale or i can get Salary as per my current job? As i dont have too much fund to pursue Cfa,Kindly suggest is there any other relevant courses or bunch of Courses which can help me to get a desired job in Equity Research Analyst? Your suggestions will be of immense help for my future career directions.

  2. Hi Avadut,

    I have just started my career in Equity Research on the sell side as a Management Trainee. In my firm we normally track small cap & mid-cap companies using bottom-up approach due to this, I am not able to master any particular sector. I need your advice on this, whether I should continue tracking companies belonging to a different sector or I should focus on one particular sector. In the long run which approach will benefit me in my career.

    • Hi Karan,

      I suggest you to develop mastery over 2-4 industries by doing in-depth research on 5-10 companies in each industry.

      Please focus on fundamental analysis. You can also read this guide.

  3. Great guide. I would like to learn more amazing ideas from your blog.Subscribed.. ! Love to be here. Thanks for a beautiful update.

  4. this article is very helpful

  5. SIR, I completed my b. Com. I am planing to do cfa. In this case can i am also interested in ca. Can I do 3 yr ca articleship along with cfa. And give inter and final exams after 3 yr articleship. Is this possible to do

    • Hi Ashwin,

      You are confused. I can clear your confusion by helping you in career discovery and guidance. Email me for a detailed career coaching session.

  6. for an accountant which course is better

    • Hi Leela,

      What’s your long-term career goal?

  7. Hi sir,
    Thanks for helping the student like us. I am pursuing my pgdm (finance spl.)
    and I am interested in capital market .I want to start my career as security analyst .suggest me for any course which can help me to increase my knowledge of capital market and enhance my skills along with pgdm.
    One more thing that, Is there any link between security analyst and investment banker ???

    • Hi Keshav,

      Security analysts work in investment banks to provide research reports/ calls to buy-side firms.

      If your goal is to work in equity research/investment banking domain, I would suggest you to join our 6-week program in Delhi.

  8. Sir!
    I have done B.com and I am pursuing PGDM (Finance). I am interested in banking jobs like HSBC, etc, and equity research as well. How should I prepare myself for these jobs. what skills should I mainly focus from right now.

    Plz mail me sir. I shall be highly obliged to you for this help.

    • Hi Rupesh,

      You can apply to banking jobs right after your PGDM.

      For equity research career, you need to acquire right skills. Please read this article.

      Please reply back if you’ve additional queries.

  9. Avadhut, Great to see the site. I have simple query about where I am going wrong. I have tried every possible networking strategy but failed to get a opportunity. Although I got to get an interview scheduled but things backtracked when they learned that I do not have an experience in Indian market. I have worked with consulting firm and also with captive of buldge bracket investment bank and have good experience in m&a, financial sponsors area and also in team management.
    Currently out of job and trying every bit possible to enter into Indian market. Kindly advise on how to proceed.

    best regards,

  10. Hi Avadhut,
    Firstly I would like to thank you wholeheartedly for such a useful site.
    Hope you can provide some help to my problem. I am a B.com(H) from DU ,MBA in finance from UPTU ,along with that I am also a Company Secretary. Despite all these qualifications and sincere and dedicated toward my work ,unfortunately I made the big mistake of my life by opting for an IT Hardware company in my very third semester for the opportunity to work directly with the Vice chairman of the company .Itd been 11 months I am associated with this company I even won the Best employee of the month award also for my dedicated work as appreciation but I am not getting the opportunity to work in Finance department rather I had been put into General management ahich is resulting in me losing my concept knowledge of Finance ,pls suggest how shall i move to finance company with this experience

    • Hi Manoj,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Well, true. Let me tell you something, this happens initially in everyone’s life when one is not sure about his career path.

      11 months is not a big period and still you can go for finance field. Try to speak to your boss and check his willingness to allow you to work in finance area of your company. There are lateral internal placements possible. Simply, ask for it!

      Secondly, if you’ve lost touch with your practical financial skills then join a workshop that gives you the skills, confidence and exposure to finance related work.

      Remember, you can start fresh today, forget the past 🙂

  11. hi avadhut, i am pursuing my mba first year (1st semester) . i want to make career in corporate finance. i am thinking to do financial modelling course by IMS proschool-certified by NSE or CFA level 1 by the end of june 2011. what should i do first FINANCIAL MODELLING or CFA. suggest some tips to start getting good knowledge in finance…

    • Hi Pranjil,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I think completing MBA is enough provided you have enough knowledge of finance and you develop skillset. I would suggest focus finance now and you can join any practical program on financial analysis and modeling when you start your second year of MBA.

      Hope this helps.

  12. Hi Avadhut

    I am working as software engg having 5 years of experience as Data Analyst. I want to move my carrer
    towards Quantitative analyst in Financial domain. Can you Please guide me from where I should start
    and with what courses. Recently I am having only B.Tech degree. I want to know what certifications and
    courses I should I do to get myself in Quantitative field of Financial domain.

    Thanks in anticipation.

    • Hi Ranjay,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If you want to work in quantitative field of finance domain, you have multiple options. I assume you are good in quantitative area. Get yourself acquianted with finance. You can look forwrad to work in Investment Banking and Equity Research as a financial modeler. For that you can join classroom or online program. I am sending you a seperate mail for course recommendations.

  13. can I have your cell no or email Id please?
    my no is 9881829134

  14. Hi sir, thanks for writing such blogs. My question is, why employer rejected the guy having mba (finance and mktg) along with around 2 y of exp in stock broking firm?
    Being specific i got 2 time rejection in kpo int at hr round.(i have good knowledge of equity, derivative market)
    Kindly reply , i need to be a part of finance kpo.

    • Hi Pravin,
      I do not know whose case you are talking about. Feel free to call me in case you need any help.

  15. Hi Avadhuht,

    Its been a long time, since i am dropping u a query. Actually i am very much interested and passionate for oppurtinities in Research roles, whether it is a fundamental, sectorial or Equity research. so my question is what are the skills needed in this category which i should manifest and acquire to nail these kind of research roles.

    I am planning to go for an investment or Equity research course in near future, but what are the other skills(technical/Soft) which i shouold work upon.

    Anticipation ur reply….


  16. Hi Sir,

    First of all i would like to congrats for initiating such a full of knowldge blog. i am following your methods which are learn in course while investing and definatly this blog will help me and many more student,job holder, and investors to get more and more information about equity analysis….

    Vaibhav Kawade

    • Vaibhav,
      Thanks for your appreciation and love.
      I welcome you to be a part of this blog. Hope our association play an important role in your professional and personal life.

  17. Dear Sir,

    Thankyou for giving valuable information on financial service career those who aspire.

    Recently I have done my CFA and having no experience in financial field. As a fresher how to get job in this field.

  18. Congrats on preparatory such a careful blog. My skill about this is appealing similar, I need to develop me according to your blog.

  19. Hi Avadhut,

    First of all, let me congratulate u for initiating such a wondefil blog for aspiring Equity research analyst, and i bet this would be an eye opener for all of us.

    i am a science graduate working in a financial kPO in Pune, and i just wanted to ask whether a science graduate should opt for these courses or not and secondly i want to tell you that
    i have a basic knowledge of the financial term and terminologies and hava an immense passion to learn and pursue the tricks of Equity Research and valuation. I m also pursuing my MBA thru Distance learning in Finance.

    Please do reply… and Keep writting.

    Best wishes,
    Sashikant Dwivedi

    • Thanks shashikant for love and appreciation. Yes,science students should surely opt such courses as they add immense value in skills and knowledge and shorten your learning curve. Right attitude and skillsets are required in this area.

  20. Hi Avadhut,
    Congrats on starting such a nice blog. It’s required for each one of us.

    My experience about this is pretty same,I gave 3 interviews,each taught me that I need to have all the skills that you mentioned above.


    • Vishal,
      Thanks for the comments. Keep visiting this place for more.

      • sir,

        now, i am doing MBA (finance & marketing). i would like to work as a financial analyst. what course i have to study and say some certification courses which will enhance my study.

        • Hi Wajahat,

          Sent you an email. Please check your inbox.



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