Collect data on companies to determine their financial soundness.
What does an Equity Research Associate do?
Everybody’s a researcher, thanks to the Internet. Because it takes a lot more than Google, however, to study investments, you’re a super-researcher with super research skills when you’re an Equity Research Associate.
Indeed, instead of search engines, an Equity Research Associate uses industry databases, as well as regulatory documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), to research companies for the purpose of buying stock.
Typically employed by an investment bank, you assist Equity Research Analysts — who analyze and interpret your research — who in turn assist the Equity Traders who actually buy and sell stocks. Your shared goal: to successfully identify companies that are poised for growth, then invest in them so that your client or employer — whoever you’re investing for — can maximize his or her return.
Because your primary job function as an Equity Research Associate is research, you find and examine companies’ operational data — including, for instance, their sales, revenues and expenses — then team with an Equity Research Analyst to make stock recommendations to Equity Traders, who count on you to do your due diligence in finding companies that show strong growth potential. To ensure that you become an expert in finding said companies, you’ll likely work in a single sector; for instance, financial services.
Of course, you’re in charge of more than “advice.” You’re also in charge of documenting your research, which requires building financial models, maintaining spreadsheets, citing information sources and keeping written research notes. Simply put: You don’t use Wikipedia; for Equity Traders, you are Wikipedia.