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Securities Analysts : Introduction

  
  
  
  
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The economic growth and liberalization in India has had a positive effect on the capital markets as well. As the stock markets boom, more and more people tend to invest in the capital markets. The investors may take their own decisions regarding which securities to buy or hold or sell, or they may consult their stockbrokers for advice. The stockbroker utilizes the expertise of the research department of his firm to provide this kind of information and the people involved in such research are called securities analysts or market analysts. The job of a securities analyst is to research and evaluate companies, find out their profitability,  look for indications of growth and expansion, project the company's future earnings and on the basis of their observations, make recommendations to clients on which securities to buy or sell.

The field of securities research is a discipline within the financial services industry and securities analysts are also known as research analysts, securities analysts, market analysts, financial analysts or simply as analysts. The job prospects of securities analysts are tied to the stock market with the bull market leading to an increase in hiring people and bear markets causing layoffs. Analysts find employment in brokerage firms, securities firms, mutual and pension funds, investment banks, merchant banks etc. They can also start their own consultancies.

Securities analysts may be employed as Sell Side Analysts- such analysts work for broker-dealers and indirectly for broker dealer trading customers, or as Buy Side Analysts- who work for institutional investors such as hedge funds, mutual funds, pension funds, proprietary trading operation of banks and brokers, endowments and insurance companies. Some also work as independent analysts, i.e they sell research to buy side or sell side firms and they themselves do not engage in securities transactions.

Some of the major players in trading and stock broking in India include companies like Kotak Securities Ltd, Angel Broking, Karvy Stockbroking, Anand Rathi, Geojit Financial Services Ltd, JRG Securities Ltd. etc. The big international players in this field are Bloomberg,  Thomson-Reuters and financial news organization Dow Jones Newswires. These companies employ analysts in their research departments. In India, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is the authorized body which regulates the operations of stock exchanges, banks and other financial institutions. Similarly, other countries have their regulating body and licensing authorities which regulate the operations of capital markets and finance professionals in the respective countries.

An ideal candidate for the job of securities analyst should have a strong sense of purpose. They should be able to handle heavy work load, prioritize and complete work under strict deadlines, work as part of a team and be able to keep abreast of new technologies and developments in this field. With a lot of scope for growth and specialization the job offers new challenges everyday and is quite prestigious and well paying too.



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