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Sell Side Analyst: Salary & Job Description

Dec 11, 2017

Sell-side analysts use their financial expertise and analytical skills to influence investment decisions but do not make buying decisions for individual clients. Read on to learn more about what they do and the value of a sell-side analyst's role.

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Career Definition of a Sell-Side Analyst

Sell-side analysts are financial analysts who specialize in assessing market conditions on behalf of the 'sell side,' which includes the production and sale of financial assets and products. They may evaluate companies and determine how profitable or secure investments in that company would be. They typically rank investments to indicate whether they recommend buying, selling, or holding.

Some sell-side analysts provide financial assessments on news broadcasts. Many work for brokerage firms, where their advice serves financial sales agents and the firm's clientele. Buy-side firms may purchase their research to help determine which investments to pursue.

In order to reach conclusions about their evaluation of a potential investment, sell-side analysts spend a lot of time doing research. This can involve meeting with people who operate companies, examining financial data and monitoring performance over a period of time. It's common for sell-side analysts to continuously review companies and investment opportunities and change their rankings based on changes in the economy or other factors that indicate the investment's prospects may change.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Analytical skills, investigative skills, computer skills, mathematical skills, communication skills, decision-making skills
Median Salary (2016)* $81,760 (financial analysts)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 11% (financial analysts)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

In order to become a sell-side analyst, it's necessary to earn a bachelor's degree in a relevant subject such as finance. Other areas of study aspiring sell-side analysts can consider include economics and mathematics. In order to advance in this career field, it can be an asset to earn a master's degree or pursue industry certification.

Required Skills

Sell-side analysts rely on their investigative skills to effectively research companies and investment opportunities. They must have strong analytical skills in order to effectively assess significant amounts of data. Decision-making skills are important because they must be able to use the information they review to reach conclusions. Communication skills are necessary since they are required to meet with business professionals and may also produce reports. Mathematical skills are important because these analysts need to be able to make calculations using financial data when they are determining rankings.

Career Outlook and Salary

Sell-side analysts are financial analysts who specialize in ranking investment options on the sell side. Occupational data for sell-side analysts is included with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) listing for financial analysts. From 2016 to 2026, the BLS expects financial analysts to see jobs increase by 11%. As of 2016, the BLS reported that financial analysts earned a median annual income of $81,760.

Related Careers

There are a number of other careers that involve finance that rely on analytical skills that those considering a career as a sell-side analyst may also be interested in. Information about some of those careers can be found via the links listed here.

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