Career Spotlight: Equity Research

Equity research is a career in finance that involves researching public companies and making recommendations on whether to buy, sell, or hold stock in that company. Equity research requires analyzing large amounts of complex financial information, staying constantly up to date, and communicating relevant information clearly. If you excel in these areas, you may find a career in equity research enjoyable and rewarding.


Equity research analysts can work on either the buy-side (money managers such as hedge funds, mutual funds, etc.) or the sell-side (brokerage firms). On the buy-side, an analyst typically makes reccomendations and an investment manager or portfolio manager makes the final call. On the sell-side, analysts make reports and forecasts, which agents then use to make recommendations to clients. Equity research analysts generally have a specific niche they focus on, such as a specific industry or country. In order to keep up to date on public companies, equity research analysts must keep an incredidbly close eye on news about specifi companies, as well as track global economic and market trends. Especially during times of high volatility, equity research has the potential to be a stressful and time-consuming occupation.

Necessary Skills

Equity research requires a unique combination of skills. As companies release quarterly reports, major events happen in the news, or markets make unexpected changes, equity research analysts must be able to understand all this complex financial data and consider it within the larger context. They must then analyze this information and come away with clear takeaways that they use to make future estimates. These future estimates typically take the form of earning estimate reports and forecast reports. These reports must clearly communicate information to other members on the team, which mean equity analysts must also have excellent communication skills.

Salary and Positions

Equity research is a highly competitive field but can be quite lucrative. According to Glassdoor, the average equity research analyst made a base salary of $93,713 and $24,561 in additional compensation. Equity research encompasses various degreees of experience and a few different positions. How much you earn will obviously depend on which position you end up in. The typical career path in equity research begins as a junior equity research analyst. If you excel, you could move up to become a senior equity research analyst. A position as a senior equity research analyst requires extensive experience and knowledge about a specific niche. This role has the potential to act as a steppingstone to a position as an investment manager.


A career in equity research will require a bachelors, ideally in a finance or business based field, but anything that helps with quantitative training can also work; math, physics, engineering, statistics, etc. A master is rarely required but may help with career advancement. In any finance position, a CFA can be incredibly helpful, though it can be incredibly difficult to obtain.

Is Equity Research Right for You?

Equity research is not for everyone. It requires constant monitoring of news and trends, is highly competitive, and can include a high level of stress. But for an individual that enjoys fast-paced work, analyzing data, and has strong communication skills, equity research can be a rewarding and well-paying career.

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