Ricky Associate, Tactical Research Global Investment Research Division, Hong Kong
On one hand, we have to be very analytical and quantitative, to identify and quantify investment opportunities. On the other hand, soft skills are also essential in order to communicate our ideas to the client in an interesting manner.
At school, I focused on a very quantitative subject (actuarial science), and a subject that emphasizes soft skills (business). That gave me a broader skill set, which is quite important to working in research. On one hand, we have to be very analytical and quantitative, to identify and quantify investment opportunities. On the other hand, soft skills are also essential in order to communicate our ideas to the client in an interesting manner.
I was very interested in sharing ideas and learning about new issues, so research turned out to be an ideal match for me. We have to learn to become experts in our particular areas of coverage, and to write insightful reports that share our ideas with internal and external clients.
Starting Out at Goldman Sachs
I was very nervous on my first day, since it was my first job out of college. On the other hand, I was fascinated by the industry data and reports that I was able to access.
I’ve had multiple training sessions, covering a wide spectrum of areas—from presenting, writing and speaking to quantitative skills like finance, accounting and modeling. I think theses courses were useful, since these are all basic pillars of success for a career in research.
Before I officially started working with the team, I attended a four-week analyst training program in New York, which gave me the chance to meet and interact with young analysts around the globe. These relationships have turned out to be invaluable. It was a great opportunity for me both to make friends and understand how research works in other offices and regions.
My aim is to become a writing analyst, which would allow me to produce research ideas and subsequently market these investment recommendations to our clients. In the longer term, I want to write increasingly insightful pieces of research, develop a client franchise for the team, and become a trusted advisor for clients.
I’m lucky to be part of a team of very talented individuals with diverse skillsets. This lets us divide our work according to each member’s strength, allowing us to work more efficiently and accurately. And when we come together as a group, it allows us to brainstorm new ideas that we would not have been able to come up with individually.
We often work creatively to come up with different ways to help our clients frame investment decisions. On one project, we were asked to forecast how the high-speed train buildout in China would affect air travel. Instead of just making a top-down ballpark estimate, we came up with a creative way of looking at the impact on a route-by-route basis. We decided to look into every rail route that could potentially overlap with airlines, and model in the individual impact to come up with a bottom-up risk estimate.
The client found this method very useful, not only because it was a completely new way of approaching the issue, but also because it allowed us to analyze the problem in greater detail.