If you have a head for business and a way with numbers, chances are you’ve thought about working in the financial world. And one of the most demanding yet rewarding jobs in this sector is that of a stock market analyst. Basically, your job is to watch the stock market, to review how stocks move between individuals and corporations, and the keep tabs on any financial instrument available to be traded. You’ll attempt to turn that endless amount of research and education into predictions for trends, and if you’re right more often than wrong, you’ll find it a very lucrative career. However, it isn’t all champagne and fancy cars for a stock market analyst. You’ll have to make a lot of sacrifices, and it isn’t for everyone. Here are a few of the pros and cons of working as a stock market analyst.
One definite pro is the ability to work independently. Most of your time will be spent with the details of financial markets, and it’s really up to you to drive your career. There’s no red tape, since everything is results-driven. If you have a proactive temperament and love the thrill of high stakes and big challenges, you will truly thrive. Of course, this could also be perceived as a negative. There isn’t much of a feeling of teamwork when you’re a stock market analyst, and some people might find that disquieting. You’ll also have very little time to bask in success. The market may close every evening, but in today’s world it’s a 24/7 pursuit.
You cannot talk about the pros of being a stock market analyst without discussing the compensation. The stock market is just a large tool for tracking the transfer of wealth, and you’re going to transfer a good deal of that wealth into your own pockets. Successful market analysts often receive multi-million dollar bonuses and huge company perks. Add on unlimited vacation days and you could be living the good life in no time. But you have to get there first, and be successful quickly when you do. Most analysts make the majority of their year’s pay through bonuses. Base salaries are capped very low, meaning you’ll have to produce to realize a good living.
That becomes even more crucial because of the immense knowledge requirement you must meet. Stock market analysts will always have to earn multiple degrees before being hired even for an entry-level job. You’ll need a good grade point average and a bachelor’s degree in finance, business or accounting, and will usually need a masters or an MBA as well. There are also several exams you must pass in order to legally trade, and those cost money. You’ll need a firm to sponsor you, and to pay for it, and you’ll be on your own figuring out how to pay your student loans until the process moves along. There are no prizes for second place in this industry, and you must make the most of your opportunities to survive.
It’s a massive field, but the knowledge you get to pursue and deepen is it’s own reward. Analysts read profusely, research endlessly, and truly understand the ins and outs of a successful business. To distinguish yourself in the field you must make your own mark. You can’t rely on the best stock picks from Tim Sykes, no matter how spot on they may be. That wealth of knowledge can be applied in many other areas of your life and your future career. So keep all the pros and cons in mind, but don’t let nerves steer you away from this path. A successful stock analyst helps companies create jobs and put money into communities. You may not always see that, but there is a real human value, which is probably the best reason to pursue this career of them all.