My name is Ellie and for the last 5 years I have worked at Invesco on the company’s investment team, first as a US Equity Analyst and most recently as a Corporate Credit Analyst. In both positions my goal has been the same- find companies to invest in that will generate positive returns above and beyond the company’s peers or the wider stock or fixed income markets.
There are many tools that we as Analysts use to determine what is and isn’t a good investment, including the modelling of a company’s financial statements- looking at both the historic financial performance and predicting what we believe the financials will look like at some point in the future. For example, the Netflix of today may be a lot less profitable than Netflix in 5 years’ time- assuming more consumers join the subscription service and move away from traditional TV bundles like Sky and Virgin Media. If this assumption is deemed by the stock market as highly probable, then the Netflix share price today should reflect the higher level of profitability in future years. If it doesn’t then this could represent an opportunity to buy the shares at an attractive price.
Also, as part of the role I meet with the CEOs and CFOs of companies to talk through their business strategy and ask any investment related questions to them. This is one of my favourite parts of the job, especially when the management teams are from companies that are changing the course of the industries they operate in like Facebook, or the electric car maker Tesla.
In terms of my journey into my current role, my interest in the investment management industry begun while studying Business Administration at university where I became a member of the investment banking society and began (rather unsuccessfully at that time) investing some of my own money into the stock market. Although I studied Business Administration, I think it’s key to point out that it is in no way essential to have studied subjects at school or university related to the asset management industry like Business, Accounting, Economics etc. At Invesco, Analysts and Fund Managers have a wide range of academic backgrounds, from History to Engineering degrees. I believe the most important thing to have is not relevant academics but a genuine interest in the industry and the job role. Interest in asset management or investment more broadly as a career path can be fostered though work experience. While at university I completed multiple work experience placements with financial advisors, insolvency practitioners and finally with Invesco. Each work experience placement should give you a flavour of what a job at that company would be like, this may either reaffirm your desire to work there or push you in a different direction- both of which are helpful in answering the question: ‘what do I want to do and how do I get there?’.
As far as being a woman in the investment industry goes, I only have positive things to say about it and would strongly encourage any women thinking of applying to the industry to do so.