A Day in the Life: Investment Research Associate

Published: May 15, 2021

 Day in the Life       
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Investment Research Associate, Major Mutual Fund Firm

7:00 AM: Arrive at the office.

7:01 AM: Read The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times, paying particular attention to articles about the industry you follow.

7:30 AM: Listen to morning call voice mails from sell-side analysts. ("Each sell-side firm has a morning meeting, and the highlights are sent via the institutional salesperson to their asset management clients.")

8:00 AM: Attend the morning investment meeting. ("Most firms have a daily meeting where all analyst and portfolio managers gather to relay new information, initiate stock recommendations and discuss current market changes.")

9:00 AM: Listen to a company's investment conference call ("particularly during earnings reposting season. These calls usually include updates from the CEO and CFO on operating performance, strategic initiatives and future company expectations.")

9:45 AM: Open the stack of reports in your inbox. Study the latest industry press and investment literature to identify new trends that may impact the companies you follow.

10:30 AM: Phone industry analysts and company management with follow-up questions.

11:00 AM: Meet with your research associate to discuss potential changes that need to be made to financial models and investment recommendations based on new information gathered during the morning's activities

12:00 PM: Eat lunch while attending an industry conference or a meeting with sell-side analysts. ("These are great ways to gather new insights and meet with industry players in a less formal setting.")

1:30 PM: Continue working on the written investment analysis of the company you are going to initiate coverage on the next day. ("This is the culmination of a two-week process in which you met with management of the company, visited the two largest manufacturing facilities, spoke with large customers of the company and conducted surveys on the demand expectations of their new product line.")

2:45 PM: Take a phone call from a senior portfolio manager who wants to discuss in more detail the investment report you issued last week on XYZ Company. ("Specifically, he wants additional support for why you believe earnings will fall 12 percent when the company has stated they expect only a 6-8 percent decline.")

3:15 PM: Sit down to write the final recommendation summary for the company you will initiate coverage on the next morning.

4:00 PM: Review the day's trading activity to see how your industry performed, again paying particular attention to the company you are initiating coverage on. ("If the investment team likes the idea, they will be paying close attention to the recent trading performance of the stock.")

4:30 PM: Meet with your research associate to put the finishing touches on the PowerPoint presentation that you will use to pitch the new stock the following morning. ("You identify a few changes to the slides and decide to cut out a few pages, remember that portfolio managers do not want to be inundated with information; they only want the necessary facts and the pertinent details that support your recommendation.")

5:30 PM: Check the newswires and first-call notes for any after-hours company news.

6:00 PM: Head to the gym ("for a quick workout to clear your head. Hopefully there is a workout facility in the building.")

7:00 PM: Return to the office to run through the final PowerPoint slides and to make sure the initiation report is on the top of each portfolio manager's inbox.

7:45 PM: Leave for home.