Affect of the sector you cover on work/life balance for ER Associate?

IRnerd's picture
Rank: Senior Monkey | banana points 94

While I have heard that the most significant factor impacting an ER associate's work/life balance is the analyst that they work under (their style, etc.), I was wondering if covering certain sectors vs. others can cause an ER associate to have to work more/stranger hours, whereas others allow for a more predictable/normal lifestyle. For example, I've heard that those covering retail are more likely to have to work weekends (I'm not sure why though; maybe because of when they tend to report earnings?). Does anyone have firsthand experience of covering one sector vs. another and the resulting work/life balance it offered? I'm particularly interested in the Media and Entertainment sector, but any differences between sectors would be interesting/useful.

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Comments (9)

Nov 16, 2018

bump.

Most Helpful
Nov 19, 2018

I don't think that some sectors are inherently more intensive than others. That would essentially mean that some ER professionals would be expected to work more while not earning more money. Otherwise, we would all be aware that some sectors result in higher pay than others.

Little quirks like what you're talking about for retail companies reporting on weekends is normal, every sector has stuff like that. Biotech coverage guys sometimes have to be in on weekends because doctor days where data are published occur on saturdays. If you cover tech, you'll probably have the majority of your earnings releases come out post market close just because they're west coast.

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Nov 16, 2018

Ok, that makes sense. But it does sound like some of these quirks would result in more "regular" hours for some than others, just by the nature of the sector being covered, even if it doesn't cause an associate in one sector to have more work than an associate in another per se. For example, maybe those in certain sectors would generally get out a little earlier during the week, but need to work weekends more frequently. Does that sound like an accurate way to sum it up, or have I misunderstood you?

Nov 19, 2018

That's probably a fair characterization.

Nov 20, 2018

FIG, particularly large cap banks, can have... interesting schedules. Earnings are always in the morning with some starting at 5:30/6am. 10K/Q's are quite important and tend to release after market close during a specific period of weeks after earnings but it's random so you never know and cross your fingers that your plans aren't ruined.

Regulatory documents and white papers also throw a ratchet into things because they're unpredictable as well and you can suddenly have a surprise note to write so your analyst can talk about it.

All in all, I'd argue banks have one of the more unpredictable schedules.

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Nov 19, 2018

I have never seen people have to drop what they're doing to respond to a Q or K release. Does that happen where you work?

Nov 20, 2018

I guess it's an analyst-specific thing but I had attributed it to my sector coverage. Large cap banks have MASSIVE 10Q/K's that get released with a bunch of information like VaR numbers, potential litigation outcomes, etc so I guess some clients find value in having us sift through those things to find changes from last quarter.

To be fair, when Wells Fargo was going through all that drama with how terrible they were to clients, watching the 10Q's was incredibly important as small details could indicate big things. Another one is knowing sensitivity of the banks' interest incomes to interest rates which tend to have detail released through those reports.

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Nov 20, 2018

Regardless of sector, a lot of your work/life will be dictated by your analyst. Hard to get a feel for this during interviews and definitely wouldn't recommend asking about hours. Firm culture will play a big role. I'd use the job reviews here for culture and try to see if the analyst has churned through associates on linkedin- this may be harder but a telltale sign IMO

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Nov 21, 2018
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