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Question Regarding Analysts
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Question Regarding Analysts

  #1 (permalink)
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Question Regarding Analysts

What do equity research analysts do? A big focus seems to be on "modelling." Sure, that's a way to determine what you think a stock is worth based on its financial position, but that's just another data-point. Timing has to be taken into consideration. Timing would be based on the broad market sentiment, the industry sentiment, the specific stock's sentiment. Then you need a trading plan with a stop level and targets. What the hell is a rating worth without the above?

It seems like what people should be doing is looking at the market as a long-term trader and not an "investor." That way they'll actually put some effort and due-dilligence into their market actions. You can't just buy a stock whenever because it's below its intrinsic value based on financials... who knows when it will go there and then once it gets there, who knows how long it will stay there. The market is emotional and cyclical.

Why the big focus on the financial value of the stock? It's just another data-point.

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  #2 (permalink)
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  #3 (permalink)
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Fadi's Avatar
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Simply, analysts help the institution that employs them to make more money :-)
If that institution wishes to buy a stock, the analyst will make sure, through his analysis to the masses of course, to drive the price to that convenient entry level they desire... Nothing rational, nothing logical, they just get the job done and move on. Their credibility by the poor masses is only linked to the strength of their institution's name and hype behind it.

In my experience so far, most analysts I met were failed traders converted to a stable and positive monthly income all year long. It is best to keep farthest away from analysts as much as possible... Can't stress enough on that!
They will mislead the hell out of a trader, trust me on that :-)

Successful people will do what unsuccessful people won't or can't do!
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  #4 (permalink)
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An equity research analyst primarily determines price targets for a small bundle of tickers that he covers. Depending on the scope, he would also suggest strategies that sales traders could communicate to their clients. He has to prepare near-daily reports for all of these, which vary from 2 pages long to 50+ pages long, and may have 1 or 2 collaborators for the longer reports.

There's so much you could: visit managements, keep tabs of the release dates of every public announcement and earnings report from the company, read balance sheets, and also other critical reports that are related to your industry, e.g. from Markit, IMF, any central bank etc. Of course, there are meetings to attend to. You have less time each week than is needed to cover everything, so your primary area of coverage is typically very, very specialized: for example, you keep track of 3 retail companies.

If you are an analyst at a fund management firm though, you could work on basic CAPM stuff, risk analysis, credit evaluation, exchange risk, limit setting, reporting portfolio mark-to-market, or be correcting other analyst biases and making estimates for portfolio decisions. The duties are more segregated.

If you climb the investment bank ladder from the front office, non-quant side, you have to start out as an analyst.

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  #5 (permalink)
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deaddog's Avatar
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A good read on this subject is " Wall Street Meat " by Andy Kessler.

I don't have enough seniority to post a link but it's available from Google Books

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