Portfolio Analyst Job Description
Advising individuals and companies about investments is the main role of Portfolio Analysts, also called Investment Analysts or Financial Analysts. Portfolio Analysts typically work with a collection of investments called a portfolio, though they can also advise clients about individual investments. Portfolio Analysts study trends that impact investments and write reports regarding economic and business changes and activities that affect the value of investments. They can also be involved in the selling of investments, such as stocks.
Portfolio Analysts work mainly in investment firms, though they can also be employed in lending institutions, corporate finance departments, banks or insurance companies. As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment growth for financial analysts is projected to be 12 percent through 2024. The growth of the global financial market leading to more investment products and the increased complexity of these products are believed to be major factors in this expected growth rate.
Portfolio Analyst Duties and Responsibilities
Portfolio Analysts must complete various tasks to ensure that their clients’ investments are secure and yielding expected returns. In reviewing several job listings for this profession, we found the following are among the core duties and responsibilities of a Portfolio Analyst.
Conduct Investment Analysis
A Portfolio Analyst will evaluate the performance of a client’s investments, such as stocks and bonds, and make recommendations to help these clients improve increase their assets. They will analyze financial statements and other financial information to determine a client’s value and assist them in making financial decisions.
Track Economic Trends
It is up to a Portfolio Analyst to keep track of trends that will affect the performance of various types of investments. Portfolio Analysts will study trends in the economy and business, such as interest rates and stock values, which will positively or negatively affect the value of a client’s investments.
Create Investment Reports
Portfolio Analysts will generate reports regarding investment values, performances and trends and present this material to clients on a regular basis. These reports can be generated monthly or quarterly. These reports might include details about investment risks, product pricing and rate changes.
Portfolio Analyst Skills
As a Portfolio Analyst, you should possess strong mathematical, decision-making and communication skills. The ability to work with little or no supervision is an important trait for Portfolio Analysts. They should be results-driven individuals with strong analytical minds who can understand the financial vision of an company or consumer and help them to achieve these goals. In addition to these general skills, a Portfolio Analyst could be expected by potential employers to possess the following skills.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Portfolio Analysts with these core skills. If you want to work as a Portfolio Analyst, focus on the following.
- Preparing portfolio analysis reports
- Recommending the best investment vehicles based on performance
- Understanding risks associated with investing
- Maintaining knowledge of market and economic trends
- Knowing various investment types, such as mutual funds, stocks and bonds
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Portfolio Analyst toolbox and broaden your career options.
- Possess CFA certification
- Knowledge of Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint
Portfolio Analyst Resources
The following are among the best industry resources we found that could be helpful as you continue your research of a Portfolio Analyst career. Both online and print resources are listed here.
On the Web
Enterprising Investor – Hosted by the CFA Institute, this blog provides tips and strategies for investment professionals.
The Journal of Portfolio Management – Portfolio Analysts can read articles covering diverse topics, such as optimizing value, diversification and futures.
Association of Financial Analysts – A global organization offering networking opportunities to Financial Analysts since 2008.
Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) – This organization provides Financial Analysts with professional training, certification and networking through conferences, discussion boards, seminars and webinars, online publications and career development opportunities.
Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management, 10th Edition – An extensive look at the application of tools used by investment and portfolio professionals.
Bond Markets, Analysis, and Strategies (9th Edition) – An extensive study of strategies and tips for analyzing bonds.
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