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Preparing for a Career in Security Analysis

After narrowing down your list of options, you’ve finally decided where you want to be on Wall Street. Now what?

James D. Ragan, a senior equity analyst at Crowell, Weedon & Co., recommends that you start by taking an active role in following the financial markets. “Learn about a sector or a group of stocks and become an expert in some areas,” Ragan told StreetID. “Read a lot, pay attention to valuation and how to value companies. It’s basically doing a lot of education to make yourself more desirable in the industry.”

When it comes to younger hires, Crowell, Weedon & Co. is most interested in seeing candidates who possess or are pursuing a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program. “[It] is a fairly rigorous program,” said Ragan. “It shows a level of commitment on their part, but then also we believe that the program is very valuable as well. That’s kind of a minimum that we look for these days; somebody that’s pursuing that, the CFA designation.”

Overall, Ragan said that Crowell, Weedon & Co. typically hires people that are a little bit more experienced. “We want someone who’s got experience in the industry; someone who demonstrated capability on valuing stocks, valuing industries,” Ragan explained. “We want someone who’s well-rounded. They need to have a desire to pursue the sale side of the business as well, and be willing to get out there with industry contacts and meet with customers and clients. It’s not just the analytical side — it’s the interpersonal skills as well.”

Finally, Ragan took a moment to speak about the challenges that Wall Street has been experiencing.

“I think that Wall Street has gone through a tough period,” said Ragan. “There aren’t as many jobs out there as there used to be. The industry is changing more to be kind of an institutional-driven model. I think there are jobs out there but it’s hard to find. I think it’s still a very appealing career.”

Ragan’s right — it isn’t always easy to find work on Wall Street. But that’s where we come in. We’re StreetID, a financial career matchmaking site that we built from the ground up to accommodate Wall Street’s growing community of financial professionals. In good times and in bad, current job seekers and those looking to move on in the future can turn to StreetID and sign up for a free account and make a direct connection with relevant candidates and employers.


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