In many ways, developing your career as an investment analyst still relies on the same skill set as it has done for decades. Analytical thinking and an in-depth knowledge of business and finance will remain critical for years to come, but increasingly communication skills, particularly in more than one language, are becoming the key attribute that employers value most. 

Communication is key

The role of an investment analyst relies heavily on communication, with individuals often tasked with conducting research and delivering information to traders, fund managers and stock brokers in order to make informed decisions regarding investments. Being able to interpret information such as ongoing political events and wider economic trends is also critical, so becoming an effective economic analyst is as much about being able to absorb information as it is about being able to deliver it. 

Having excellent communication skills is crucial for investment analysts to progress up the career ladder, as it enables them to conduct due diligence on companies and industries and subsequently make clear recommendations; lacking clarity as an investment analyst could lead to costly mishaps. However, in an increasingly competitive job market, having communication skills in just one language could leave you at a disadvantage. 

A global economy

The world of finance, like many other industries, is becoming increasingly international, placing greater emphasis on language skills. Investment analysts will often be tasked with assessing opportunities not only in their native country but also abroad. As such they must have a good understanding of business processes and wider market forces globally. In order to have the required understanding, knowledge of the local language is a vital asset as it means investment analysts can form first-hand opinions much more easily. Often investment analysts will be involved in discussions and meetings with traders and other finance professionals abroad, so being able to converse in their native tongue is a huge advantage. 

While understanding any second language is beneficial, certain languages are more desirable than others and this will depend on what markets your employer is focusing on. Oil and gas investors may require an analyst that is fluent in Russian, for example, while other businesses may be looking to employ a Chinese speaker to help them tap into emerging markets. Many investment analysts will be required to spend time overseas, and knowledge of a second language will again prove useful. For example, Goldman Sachs, one of the world’s most prestigious investment banks, has offices in 36 different countries all over the world. The economy is truly a global phenomenon and as such, investment analysts with a second language are hugely desirable to employers. 

Cultural awareness

Sometimes communication is about more than just understanding words on a page and the global nature of investment banking means that an awareness of different cultures is also an important attribute. Spending time abroad experiencing a second language can help when meeting with individuals from different backgrounds and gives investment analyst candidates a multicultural edge when compared with their fellow applicants. 

At Randstad, we have a detailed knowledge of the financial sector and will ensure that your language and communication skills shine through to prospective employers. In fact, we have a dedicated investment management recruitment team to help your career as an investment analyst progress in the way that you want it to.