A Day in the Life of an Equity Analyst

Hi, my name is Joan Paidamoyo Takaindisa and I'm an equities analyst. After leaving The Heritage School where I served as head girl, I went on to graduate from the University of Pretoria with a Bsc. Actuarial and Financial Mathematics. I am currently working at Inter Horizon Group (IH Group) for IH Securities (where I've recently been promoted to senior analyst) which is a securities trading company facilitating trade on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange while covering two other countries on the Research side.

05:40 – I wake up and get ready for work. I am generally not a morning person, so I need about 20 minutes to get out of bed. This is usually the time I use to catch up with emails, social media and messages from the night before.

07:00 – During the school term I leave for work around this time. My office is just 10 minutes away but it takes me about 30 minutes to get to work with Harare traffic.

07:30 – I’m at work by this time and part of being an analyst is to stay current, so we use this time to go through the papers.

07:45 – This is when we have our daily morning meetings. Morning meetings basically consist of us relaying what we have gone through in the papers, highlighting the most important stories and then getting a feel of what is expected in the market today.

Image: Joan at work

08:00 – My working day starts here. An equity analyst position entails providing analysis on securities information to portfolio managers to aid in the investment process. At IH Securities we cover 3 countries namely Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Mauritius so we do analysis on selected companies on the countries’ stock exchange. Analysis starts with building models for the companies, forecasting their financials, meeting with management teams or attending analyst briefings, coming up with a valuation, then lastly writing a report for investors with a BUY, SELL or HOLD recommendation. Outside of that we write different research reports that can be sector specific or a broad one that covers all the important sectors. When I am not in the office I am either at a client meeting, a management meeting or an analyst briefing. Client meetings involve taking clients to their meetings so those can either be listed companies, non-listed companies, RBZ, Ministry of Finance etc. I have had the opportunity to sit through a couple of meetings with the RBZ Governor and the Deputy Minister of Finance and these are always exciting because you get hear their perspective on things and are able to ask anything you want.

10:00 – I work for a stockbroking firm so the main line of business is Trading. Trading on the ZSE starts at 10:00 so this is the time the cool stuff happens. I am not directly involved with the trading aspect but this is when the clients we talk to decide on what shares they want to buy or sell, based on our recommendations and the traders execute their orders.

13:00 – Lunch! We have a lady we order food from, her company is called Phoebe’s and she delivers to our offices so by 1 we have our food already. Our company is fairly young so most times we sit outside together by the benches and have lunch together. We are more like family than colleagues so this is when we get to catch up with everyone on what is happening in their lives.

14:00 – After lunch we do the price sheet which is sent to clients to let them know how the trading went. So this price sheet will have details on the movers, volumes and value sold and how the indices performed.

14:30 – Every other Wednesday we have a Research Meeting which is our departmental meeting. This is where we give each other updates on what is happening in other markets in the region so we stay current, what is happening in the markets we cover, how far we are with our deliverables as every analyst always has something they are working on at any given time. We also get the opportunity to talk to our director if we have any grievances or anything else we want to discuss

15:00 – Every Wednesday and Thursday for 1 and a half hours we have what we call Active Learning Hours. Research involves reading a lot. You need to be well versed in all markets and understand what companies in other countries are doing compared to the ones you cover. You need to understand all markets and trends as this helps with our clients since they will be fund managers covering different continents. It also gives you a better perspective on how things work because if you just focus on your own country you tend to form a shallow opinion on how things work. So basically Active Learning is the time we take out to read. It is up to you to decide what you want to look at that afternoon but it is basically your opportunity to get read on something new.

17:00 – Work officially ends at 16:30 but I only manage to leave around 17:00. Mondays, Wednesday and Thursdays I go to the gym or run at the Race Course. We started the Biggest Loser at IH so for the next 3 months everyone is trying to actively lose weight. The winner gets money, which is enough motivation!

Tuesdays I go for Bible Study, which starts at 17:30. It is a Young Adults class and it falls under Bible Study Fellowship. Straight after Bible Study I go to Pariah Avondale for Trivia Tuesdays. I am a member of the Rotaract Club of Harare West and every Tuesday we host Trivia nights to raise money for our various projects. Every other Friday we have our Rotaract club meetings which run from 17:00 – 19:00. When I don’t have Rotaract I usually meet up with friends or go for after work drinks with my colleagues.

Image: Joan with her Roteract family

20:00 – On the nights I get home early I use this time to study. I am a member of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries as I am studying to be an Actuary. For you to qualify, you go through a series of Board Exams and Courses. There are about 12 exams and 4 courses (I think) before you qualify. So far I have completed 8 exams and working on my 9th which I will write in September. So this is the time I use to study.

22:00 – Bed time! I always try to be in bed by 22:00 even though I only fall asleep around 22:30. I usually read a book until I fall asleep and right no I am reading Half of a Yellow Sun by Ngozi Adichie.

About the Author

I am a product of many countries and backgrounds. I was born in Harare where I spent the first eight years of my life as the only girl in a family of four. At the age of eight, my family moved to Abuja, Nigeria where I attended International Community School (ICS) for three years. Straight after that, we moved to the United Kingdom for another three years where I attended St Bernard's High School and Arts College in Southend before coming back to Zimbabwe when I was in Form Two. In Form four, my dad's job moved him to Burundi but at this point my mum refused for us to keep moving as she felt we needed stability which helped me a lot because the moving had started to affect my social life and friendships. After high school I went to the University of Pretoria where I studied Actuarial and Financial Mathematics and was the head of PR for the Roteract Club. I moved back home where I got a job at IH and have been there since then. Although I have a degree in actuarial science, I need to sit board exams and pass to become a qualified Actuary, so I am a member of the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA), the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) (the body I write my exams with) and the Actuarial Society of Zimbabwe (ACZ). Finally, I’m a member of the Rotaract Club of Harare West and will be on the Board from July 2018 in charge of Professional Development. My favourite quote which I relate to all aspects of my life is "When it is finally your turn, you will understand why the wait was necessary."

© 2018 by nnyasha.

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