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  • Companies are complicated.

  • Investment is tricky.

  • Predictions are hard to make, especially about the future.

  • What's needed are local guides who

  • try to point investors in the right direction.

  • We have them in the form of securities analysts.

  • These professionals typically work for brokers, investment

  • banks, and fund managers.

  • They do statistical analysis and talk to company bosses.

  • Recently, they seem to have been in retreat.

  • What's gone wrong for them?

  • First, regulation has tightened up.

  • Customers have decided fewer analysts are needed.

  • Second, investment is changing.

  • Customers, who are mostly active managers, are in retreat too.

  • Third, the focus of big business is shifting.

  • Companies are beginning to see a purpose

  • broader than shareholder value.

  • Many analysts specialise in valuations

  • based on next year's profits.

  • That's an important skill, but a narrow one.

  • Are securities analysts doomed?

  • Are analysts now as obsolete as diesel cars or cassette

  • players?

  • Let's consider each challenge.

  • The regulatory hit comes from Mifid II in the EU.

  • Commentators have likened it to the triffid,

  • a fictional man-eating plant.

  • Before Mifid II, fund managers routed their trades

  • to a broker to execute on the market.

  • In return, brokers charged commissions

  • that included the cost of research

  • received by the fund manager.

  • Mifid II required fund managers to disclose this cost

  • to their clients.

  • Embarrassed, they decided they needed less of it.

  • The trend is spilling over into the US.

  • Other changes are thinning the ranks of securities analysts.

  • Index funds, which passively track market benchmarks,

  • are growing fast.

  • PwC forecasts index funds will account for half the US total

  • by 2025.

  • But Lex thinks reports of the death of the securities

  • analysts are exaggerated.

  • Here's why.

  • Analysts blind to societal change

  • are as doomed as any other professionals.

  • Those who adapt are not.

  • They can calculate discounts on oil and gas reserves

  • due to climate change, for example.

  • Index funds have made smaller inroads than worriers imagined.

  • And their share of the US stock market is only 13 per cent.

  • Moreover, part of the justification for index funds

  • is misleading.

  • They are certainly low cost and may

  • appear to remove human error.

  • But in reality, index compilers can still make bad choices.

  • They could trap investors in weak sectors

  • during downturns when it could increase financial instability.

  • Finally, people will always need other people

  • to study the numbers behind investment.

  • UK and US brokers may require fewer analysts.

  • Other employers may want more.

  • Data from the CFA Institute show demand to take its tough exams

  • is rising sharply in Asia and is steady elsewhere.

  • The securities analysts is dead.

  • Long live the securities analyst.

Companies are complicated.


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證券分析師註定要失敗嗎?| 證券大趨勢 (Are securities analysts doomed? | Lex Megatrends)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日