Updated: Oct 22
A research analyst conducts research and analysis about various companies and sectors to provide insights, forecasts, and recommendations to individuals or organizations, typically related to investment and financial decision-making.
Research analysts are commonly found in financial services firms, investment banks, brokerage houses, mutual funds, asset management companies, and financial research organizations.
In India, research analysts need to adhere to regulatory guidelines set by organizations like the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to maintain transparency and provide accurate and unbiased information to investors.
Types of Research Analysts
Research analysts can be categorized into three main types:
Sell-side Analysts: They work for firms that provide investment banking and broking services. Sell-side analysts publish research reports in the public domain, offering specific buy, hold, or sell recommendations for stocks or industries. These reports include earnings forecasts and price targets.
Buy-side Analysts: These analysts are employed by asset management firms like mutual funds and hedge funds. They generate investment recommendations for internal use by fund managers. Their reports are not publicly available and are shared within their organizations.
Independent Research Analysts: Independent analysts work for separate research firms and sell their research to various clients, including investors, institutions, and regulators. They may also provide customized research reports on request, serving diverse purposes like investment decisions or understanding competition.
Each type of analyst serves a unique role and audience in the financial industry.
Responsibilities of Research Analysts
Research analysts are crucial in assessing industries, companies, and economies. They focus on three main areas:
Understanding the Economy: Analysts closely examine factors like national income, inflation, interest rates, and government policies, as these impact economic growth. They also consider foreign investments, savings, and global influences on GDP growth.
Understanding Industries: Different industries have unique challenges and growth drivers. Analysts study industry regulations, business models, competition, demand sensitivity to price changes, and consumer behavior.
Understanding Companies: Just as cricketers like Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Poojara have distinct styles and statistics, companies in the same industry can vary significantly. Analysts assess companies qualitatively by examining strengths, weaknesses, and management quality and quantitatively by analyzing financial statements, cash flows, assets, and liabilities.
7 Steps to Clear the NISM Research Analyst (XV) Exam
The National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) in India conducts the Research Analyst Certification Examination, commonly called the Research Analyst XV (RA XV) exam.
Passing this exam requires thorough preparation and a good understanding of the subject matter.
Here are some steps to help you prepare for and pass the Research Analyst XV exam:
Step 1 - Understand the Exam Format:
NISM RA exam has 92 multiple-choice questions, each worth 1 mark and 2 case-based questions. Each case includes 4 questions, each worth 1 mark, for a total of 100 marks.
Understand the weighting of different topics in the exam syllabus. For example, topics like 'Company Analysis' and 'Valuation Principles' have been given more weightage (32% combined).
Step 2 - Study Materials:
Obtain the official study material provided by NISM for the RA XV exam.
Consider using additional reference books or online resources to supplement your understanding of the topics.
Step 3 - Create a Study Plan:
Develop a study schedule that allocates sufficient time for each topic.
Set specific study goals and milestones to track your progress.
Step 4 - Practice Mock Tests:
NISM provides mock tests and sample questions on its website. Take advantage of these resources to practice answering questions.
Practice tests can help you get accustomed to the exam format and improve your time management skills.
Pass4sure is another website that provides mock tests at a reasonable price.
Step 5 - Revision and Review:
Regularly review the material you've studied to reinforce your understanding.
Please focus on the areas where you feel less confident and revise them thoroughly.
Step 6 - Exam Day Preparation:
On the exam day, arrive at the examination center well ahead of time to avoid any last-minute stress.
Carry a simple calculator, water bottle, and a pen. Plain papers will be provided at the exam center. Please note that mobile phones and other notebooks or workbooks are prohibited in the exam hall.
Step 7 - During the Exam:
Read each question carefully and answer to the best of your knowledge.
Manage your time wisely, and don't spend too much time on a single question.
It is better to answer theoretical questions first and then work on questions that include a lot of calculations and formulas.
Passing the RA XV exam requires dedication, consistent effort, and a deep understanding of the subject matter.
Take your time to prepare thoroughly, and don't rush the process. If you are unsure about specific topics, consider seeking guidance from experienced professionals or instructors.
How to Get SEBI Registration as a Research Analyst?
To obtain SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) registration as a Research Analyst in India, you must follow regulatory requirements and procedures.
Here is a simplified step-by-step guide:
Educational Qualification: Ensure that you meet the academic qualifications required to be eligible for SEBI registration. Typically, you should have a bachelor's degree in finance, economics, commerce, or related fields.
Employment with a SEBI-Registered Entity: To apply for SEBI registration as a Research Analyst, you must be associated with a SEBI-registered entity, such as a brokerage, financial institution, or research firm, for a minimum of 5 years.
Pass the NISM Series XV (Research Analyst) Exam: SEBI mandates that research analysts must pass the NISM Series XV (Research Analyst) examination.
Compliance with SEBI Regulations: Ensure that you and your employing entity comply with SEBI (Research Analyst) Regulations, 2014, and any subsequent amendments.
Registration Application: The individual or your employing entity (if you are employed) will be responsible for submitting the SEBI registration application on your behalf through SEBI's intermediary portal. Ensure that all required documents and information are accurately provided.
Networth Certificate: You need a net worth certificate from a Chartered Accountant (CA), and it should be no older than 6 months when you submit your application (Individual or partnership research analysts must have assets worth over 1 lakh rupees and Corporate or LLP research analysts must have assets worth at least 25 lakh rupees).
Continuous Compliance: After receiving SEBI registration, it's crucial to maintain ongoing compliance with SEBI regulations. Ensure that your research reports, disclosures, and client interactions adhere to SEBI guidelines.
Documents Required to Get SEBI Registration as a Research Analyst
When applying, you'll need to submit certain documents. Some are included with your application, while others may be requested later.
The specific documents required can vary, but some common ones include:
Proof of identity and address (e.g., PAN and Aadhaar card).
Qualification certificates (e.g., Graduation or Post Graduation Certificate, Experience Certificate, and NISM certificate).
Net Worth Certificate from a Chartered Accountant.
Income Tax Returns (ITR) for the last three years.
Various declarations - Compliance with relevant clauses of Chapter III of the Regulations, Compliance with Schedule II, SEBI Regulations (specifying the 4 criteria), Compliance with Regulation 7(1) and 7(2) of Research Analysts Regulations 2014.
Details about your infrastructure for research analyst services, along with supporting documents (office space, equipment, software, etc.).
Standard disclosures, internal policies, and procedures documents.
These documents are essential for the registration application process.
Fee Structure for SEBI Registration as a Research Analyst
When applying, you must pay a non-refundable application fee. Once your registration is approved, you'll also need to pay a Registration Fee to secure it and receive your printed certificate.
Here's the fee structure:
Salary Details for Research Analysts
The salary structure for research analysts in India can vary significantly based on factors such as experience, qualifications, location, the employer's type, and the specific industry they work in.
However, the salary structure ranges between ₹ 5.0 Lakhs to ₹ 50 Lakhs per annum with an average annual salary of ₹ 10.0 Lakhs.