Keep up with industry news and business practices by reading publications such as Barron's (http://www.barrons.com), Wall Street Journal (https://www.wsj.com), Forbes (https://www.forbes.com), Bloomberg BusinessWeek (http://www.bloomberg.com/businessweek), Fortune (http://fortune.com), and Financial Times (https://www.ft.com). These and other related publications offer a wealth of information on stocks, mutual funds, finance, education, careers, salaries, global business, and more. Conduct company research by using these resources also. It should be noted that some publications may require subscriptions to access the information.
The AnalystForum (https://www.analystforum.com) is a resource for chartered financial analysts and CFA candidates. It offers useful links to financial, investment, and security analyst society sites. Use these sites to search for professionals who would be interested in participating in informational interviews. Prepare a list of questions to learn more about how they got started in their careers, what their day-to-day work is like, and what recommendations they may have for people interested in this field.
An internship or part-time job at a brokerage firm with financial quantitative analysis services is a good way to explore this profession while gaining valuable experience. Ask your school's career services office for help with finding opportunities. Join your school's investment club, if it has one, or ask a parent or teacher for help with researching and analyzing investment opportunities. Study the companies within a specific industry, such as telecommunications, technology, or health care, and track the stocks that show the best potential for growth.
Financial quantitative analysts study past and current financial reports and investments of their clients or their employers if they work in-house. They gather information about the company's financial status, its income and expenditures, risk tolerance, and financial goals. Analysts also research other companies that their client or employer wants to invest in. They may research companies that are within one industry or various industries, studying the business history, products and services, and past and potential earnings. They use their findings to create financial models, spreadsheets, and reports, to make recommendations for investment options and for buying, selling, or holding onto stocks that may already be in their clients' portfolios.
Financial quantitative analysts work for security and commodity brokerage firms, banks, credit institutions, and insurance groups. They also work for government agencies and in private industries. Their work may focus on any number of industries, including banking, transportation, health care, technology, telecommunications, and energy. Whatever the industry, they use the same analytical tools to come up with investment strategies. They conduct in-depth research on the industry, study the markets and past performance and future trends of investments, and make industry comparisons.
Financial quantitative analysts compile different types of reports, such as profit-and-loss statements and quarterly outlook statements. Their work also entails developing budgets, analyzing cash flow, and performing cost-benefit and risk analyses. Analysts ensure that their client's or employer's investments and investment considerations are tax and regulatory compliant. Companies that plan to sell company shares to investors for the first time (known as "going public") ask analysts for future earnings projections and presentations for prospective investors. They use various software programs to conduct their work, such as analytical software, database user software, development environment software, and operating system software.