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Hi, I just started with college, but spent the long summer break before beginning my studies completing two internships, both in equity research. One was a four-week off-cycle at a boutique investment bank (so sell-side research) and the other a ten-week summer internship at a large asset management firm (buy-side research). I greatly enjoyed both internships and hope to pursue a career as an equity analyst, as the work really appeals to me.

I am, however, concerned that equity analysts might be far too low paid considering their great qualifications and skills. It's not that I were greedy or overly money-obsessed. It's just that I think someone who is very well qualified, intelligent and analytic deserves being appropriately compensated. I did not ask my colleagues what they earn, since that would have been impolite.

So my questions are: Is equity research really as low-paid as you can often read in the web? How much does an equity analyst at senior level at a BB (e.g. JP Morgan or UBS) make on average in an average year? Can you make a decent living as an equity analyst even if you are based in awesome yet unfortunately horribly expensive cities like London or New York?

Thank you very much for your opinions/ shared knowledge. I would greatly appreciate to hear from someone either working in equity research or having worked in this field or having friends/ relatives who do/ have done.

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Comments (11)

  • psv's picture

    Good analysts can make a million with top analysts booking up to $4-5 million.

  • JasonLoh's picture
  • G.M.Trevelyan's picture

    You might as well go to Drakes.

  • newfirstyear's picture

    WTF is op talking about? I make more now than when I worked in banking, and I get the benefit of a much higher base. At the senior level, yeah you get paid less....but we're talking about $3 million for an II ranked MD versus $5 million for a banking MD. You're not exactly scraping by.

  • SirTradesaLot's picture

    This is probably the first time I've heard of equity analysts being underpaid. If anything, most people think they're overpaid.

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  • UK2013plus's picture

    thank you for your replies. but a top analyst making 3 million dollars annually?? isn't that exaggerated? I thought investment banks consider their equity research departments as "cost factors" and therefore don't pay them well. I could be wrong, though

  • meabric's picture

    Its a very similar financial path, going from making enough as a 22 year old for it not to matter, scraping by in your early 30s with kids in school/house in brooklyn and then finally making lead analyst/MD and making multiple millions once you get ranked/close a blockbuster deal. $3 million is not a crazy number for an All-American, generally they will move around a bit once they become ranked, taking a nice raise every time.

    End of the day, at the mid-level, whether your comp to work ratio is fair is going to depend on your lead analyst. Some like to work their guys to death putting out those 300 page industry reports, some prefer to let them cover their sub-sectors as they see fit. If you are working for the former, you will feel underpaid, if the latter, you will probably be happy.

    The one caveat is that sell-side equity research is saturated, which means either you or your boss must leave the firm for you to get promoted. Its also slowly shrinking as uneconomical analysts are axed.

    Buy-side analysts get paid very well for hours worked if their recommendations perform. This is even more true if they try and succeed to make PM, although that job comes with its own set of stresses.

  • UK2013plus's picture

    thanks a lot, that was quite elaborate and helpful!

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  • lasampdoria's picture

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  • upquark's picture

    I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature. -John D. Rockefeller