Have we piqued your interest? Want to know where to get started? We’ve asked some of the country’s leading investors to share their tips. And summarised their key take outs below:
What to study
Studying economics and finance or quantitative degrees like science, maths and engineering is a great launch pad but there are a growing number of investment teams who are looking for grads with diverse educational backgrounds. Combined degrees and Masters are increasingly sought after with an expectation you’re among the top of your class. Completing your CFA exams is another option.
What to get good at
Investors solve complex problems in an unpredictable and rapidly changing environment. That means you need to be highly analytical and also intuitive. You need to be able to see the big picture and also immerse yourself in detail. Being a team player is critical but as you get more senior, you need to make the calls. Determination, grit and resilience will set you apart.
What to read
A curiosity about why the value of various assets rise and fall is the starting point. Reading the business and finance press like Reuters, Bloomberg or the Financial Times needs to be a daily habit. Investing using your own funds or using 'dummy' portfolios is a great way to whet your appetite. You might also enjoy reading some of the following classics:
- One up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch
- Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist - Roger Lowenstein
- The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life – Alice Shroeder
- The Essays of Warren Buffett – Warren Buffett
- The Richest Man in Babylon – George Clason
- The Most Important Thing Illuminated – Howard Marks
- Fooled by Randomness – Nassim Nicholas Taleb
- Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
- Poor Charlie’s Almanac – Peter Kaufman
- Why Nations Fail – Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
- The Intelligent Investor – Benjamin Graham
Getting work experience in an investment team
This is probably the hardest part. While the size of the assets we manage is large, the investment management industry (ie the number of people working in it) is relatively small. That means it’s a pretty competitive industry to crack. But don’t let that put you off!
If you’re nailing it at uni and determined to make a difference, then make sure you apply for the various intern and grad opportunities our partners offer. Plus, subscribe to receive Future IM/Pact newsletters which promote different ways to gain exposure to the industry and build up your contacts.
Entry level roles
The entry level job in most investment teams is an investment analyst. These jobs generally require two to three years’ experience in another analytical role such as investment banking, economics or equities research.
Some of the larger super funds and fund managers hire graduate investment analysts. These opportunities will be promoted via our newsletter and social channels so make sure you watch out for them.
Starting salaries are around $70,000.
Day in the life of an equities analyst
An equities analyst is a member of an equities investment team who is responsible for researching companies and generating investment ideas for the funds. While not the only type of investment analyst, this is a very common entry level role.
One of the best things about this role is that every day is different. You might start your day by reading the paper and catching up on international news overnight as you make your way into the office for the investment team morning meeting. This meeting will be early so the team can discuss company and portfolio news before the market opens at 10am.
After the meeting is done it is time to go over a few final details before the management team of one of the companies the fund has invested in comes in to see you. This company released their annual financials the day before and you have lots of questions for them.
After an hour questioning management, you grab a quick bite before returning to your desk to research a new investment idea. You have a hunch that a speciality fashion company that has been going through tough times is about to turn the corner. However, before making a recommendation to invest you need to gather evidence that this is the case.
You spend the rest of the afternoon going through the company’s financials, making calls to others close to the company, and visiting a few stores to see how consumers are reacting to the new product line and store décor.
Luckily today the stocks you cover have behaved as you expected so it is time to call it a day, ready to do it all over again tomorrow