An apprentice investment analyst researches and provides information to traders, fund managers, and stockbrokers to help them make investment decisions. Your data ensures that investment portfolios are properly managed, and potential investment opportunities are found.
Some analysts work for investment businesses, supplying information to in-house fund managers. In contrast, others work for stockbrokers and investment banks, providing research to portfolio managers or consumers who make their own investment decisions.
Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:
- find new investment opportunities
- research the financial performance of your target companies
- keep up to date with political and economic developments that affect the financial markets
- examine company accounts
- analyse data
- produce reports for fund managers and stockbrokers
- ensure that all work meets strict financial regulations.
- Typical starting salaries for apprentices is £22,000 in London. Salaries tend to be lower elsewhere in the UK (and outside of the larger investment banks). Organisations outside of London may recruit at an apprentice from £18,000 to £20,000.
- After five to eight years, salaries rise to £65,000 to £100,000, with bonuses of up to 40% and 150%. Typical salaries at senior level can be £110,000+, with bonuses of up to 200% of salary.
Working hours may be long, up to 10 or 11 hours each day, with early starts due to the need to inform other departments before the day begins. Sometimes, weekend and evening work may be necessary.
You could work in an office.
Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice investment analyst include:
Level 7 Senior Investment or Commercial Banking Professional – Entry requirements for this level include 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship. This qulification usually take about 18-24 months to complete.
On an investment analyst apprenticeship, you’ll learn:
- maths knowledge
- knowledge of economics and accounting
- analytical thinking skills
- ambition and a desire to succeed
- persistence and determination
- the ability to use your initiative
- the ability to use your judgement and make decisions
- thinking and reasoning skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently.
Typical employers of apprentice investment analysts include:
- investment management companies, where analysts provide information to in-house fund managers
- stockbrokers and investment banks, where the analysts’ research assists clients of their company
- wealth management divisions of investment banks
- institutional investors, such as large charities, pension funds and life assurance companies
- hedge funds.
The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society of the UK (CFA UK) Investment Management Certificate (IMC) is a prerequisite for anybody working in investment management. It addresses the legislation investment firms, and their employees must follow in the United Kingdom. Consequently, apprentices joining investment management companies are more likely to complete the certificate programme during their training.
Most investment banks now require their analysts to finish the CFA programme, which culminates in the CFA charter. The programme, which takes four years to complete, is administered by the CFA Institute.
Employers in investment management often support employees with their education by giving them financial assistance and time off for studying and testing. The IMC is required by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), but it is also in the company’s best interests to encourage staff to broaden their skills and knowledge.
General career development routes include:
- continuing your career as an investment analyst with the aim of becoming a lead analyst
- progressing into management, supervising others and taking on responsibility for an investment area or type of fund
- continuing to develop expertise in a chosen field and becoming recognised for specialist knowledge, expertise and results
- becoming a manager in charge of investment in a specific organisation, such as an insurance company or in-house pension fund
- moving into investor relations.