9 Things Every Equity Research Analyst Should Own

9 Things Every Equity Research Analyst Should Own

The most important thing an equity research analyst needs to have is his or her brain.

But apart from that, I thought it would be helpful to put together a list of things that help analysts do their jobs well and make their lives easier.

To come up with this list I looked around at my own desk, looked at my own life, observed colleagues, and spoke with equity research analysts at various companies.

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I think any of these items would make a great gift for the equity research analyst or value investor in your life, especially with Christmas coming up. Or just buy a gift for yourself!

1. Financial Calculator

A good equity research analyst should never leave home with his or her calculator.
HP 10bII+ Financial Calculator

Good: HP 10bII+ Financial Calculator

The HP 10bII+ was the first financial calculator I ever owned. It’s an entry level one ($25 on Amazon) and it’s permitted for use on the CFP Certification Exam – but not on the CFA Exams.

  • The HP 10bII+ is the smart choice for business and finance needs.
  • You’ll be able to work quicker and more efficiently with over 100 time-saving, easily-accessible business functions.
  • Easily calculate loan payments, interest rates and conversions, standard deviation, percent, TVM, NPV, IRR, cash flows, and more.
  • With so many useful features, and an affordable price, the HP 10bII adds up to a wise investment. Permitted for use on the CFP Certification Exam.

Better: HP 12CP Financial Calculator

The HP 12CP is a classic financial calculator, used by many old school bankers and finance gurus.
It’s permitted for use on the CFA Exams. However, the horizontal layout may take some getting used to.

HP 12CP Financial Calculator
  • High Quality and Durable
  • Portable Design
  • Energy Star Certified
  • Robust and versatile financial calculator
  • Over 120 built-in functions for business, finance, mathematics, and statistics, including date calculations
  • Efficient data entry using RPN
  • Small size; easy to take anywhere
  • Long battery life

Best: Texas Instruments BA II Plus & TI BA II Plus Pro Financial Calculator

Texas Instruments BA II Plus Financial Calculator

The Texas Instruments BA II Plus – and in particular its bigger brother, the Texas Instruments BA II Plus Pro – are the best financial calculators around. The BA II Plus has 1,700 customer reviews and an average 4.4 star rating on Amazon. The
BA II Plus is diffinately great value, but if you want something that looks a little fancier, the BA II Plus comes with a nice high quality silver/metallic finish. Both calculators are permitted for use on the CFA Exams.

  • Performs common math as well as various financial functions
  • Worksheet mode includes tables for amortization, bond, depreciation, and compound interest
  • Built-in memory for storage of previous worksheets
  • Can perform cash-flow analysis and advanced list-based statistics
  • Slide-case included to protect screen

2. Notebook

Equity research analysts take a lot of notes, whether it’s during internal discussions, management meetings, or investor calls. A lot of notes equals a lot of paper, so having a good notebook is essential.
Mead Spiral Notebook

Good: Mead Spiral Notebook

The Mead Spiral Notebook is the classic notebook. They’re ubiquitous in grade school, high school, and college. There’s no reason you can’t use them as an equity research analyst, too. Get the black ones to look more professional or get different colors to categorize based on different companies/projects/deals.

  • Includes twelve, 1-subject, spiral bound notebooks with assorted color covers; colors received may vary
  • 70 sheets of double-sided college ruled paper
  • Spiral bound with spiral lock to prevent snags.
Black n’ Red Business Notebook

Better: Black n’ Red Business Notebook

The Black n’ Red Business Notebook gives a lot of bang for your buck. It’s a very stylish looking notebook but for less than what the premium noteboo brands charge. Options include soft cover wirebound (pictured on the right), hard cover wirebound or casebound.

  • Business notebook with durable poly covers easily wipe clean, while the elastic strap provides secure closure; 70 sheets, ruled
  • Twinwire binding allows the notebook to lie flat or be folded back, to suit your writing style
  • With high quality, smooth 90gsm Optik Paper that reduces ink bleed to write on both sides of the page
Moleskine Folio Professional Notebook

Best: Moleskine Folio Professional Notebook

Moleskine definitely has the most professional-looking notebooks around.

  • Layout: Ruled Paper
  • Dimensions: 8-1/4? x 11-3/4?
  • Hard Cover with elastic closure and bookmark ribbon.
  • Color: Black
  • Pages: 176
  • Internal Pocket
  • Paper Weight: 100 gsm/68 lb.; FSC Certified Paper; Acid-Free (pH Neutral)

3. Pens

Got your notebook? Great! Now you’re gonna need a pen.
Pilot G2 Retractable Premium Gel Ink Roller Ball Pens

Good: Pilot G2 Retractable Premium Gel Ink Roller Ball Pens

The Pilot G2 Pens are great. Try them out just once and you’ll get addicted to how smoothly they write.

  • G2 writes longer than the average of the top branded gel ink pens.**
  • Contoured rubber grip for writing comfort
  • Box of 12 extra fine point pens with black ink
  • Dynamic Gel Ink Formula that’s smooth writing and smear-proof – Retractable and refillable.

Better: Zebra F-701 Stainless Steel Ballpoint Retractable Pen

Zebra F-701 Stainless Steel Pen

If you’re looking for something a little more stylish, the Zebra F-701 is a beautiful yet inexpensive pen made out of stainless steel.

  • F-701 Retractable Ballpoint Pen is made of professional-grade stainless steel from tip to clip
    Designed to prevent corrosion
    Easy-to-hold knurled metal grip provides writing stability
Parker Urban Black and Gold Fountain Pen

Best: Parker Urban Black and Gold Fountain Pen

The Parker Urban Black and Gold Fountain Pen is the Cadillac of pens. You’ll definitely be turning heads when you pull this baby out during a meeting.

  • Urban’s dynamic curved design offers a bold modern look that dares to be noticed. Unconventional bullet shape for perfect weight and balance.
  • Muted lacquered matte black finish with a powdered aspect.
  • Stainless steel nib provides superior resistance and durability, and is designed to provide optimal writing angle for right- or left-handed writers.
  • Includes pen, 4 ink cartridges, 2-ounce bottle of Quink ink, bottled ink converter and cleaning cloth.
  • Limited warranty guarantees product for 2 years from date of original purchase against defects in materials or workmanship.

4. Folder

Folders are underrated but very useful, especially with plenty of various papers to keep track of and multiple companies/deals/projects to keep straight.
Smead Manila File Folder

Good: Smead Manila File Folder

These Smead Manila File Folders don’t need any introduction. They’re classic.

  • An economical way to file your documents
  • 11 point manila stock for everyday use
  • An office staple
  • 1/3-cut tab, assorted positions
  • Contains 10% recycled content, 10% post-consumer material

Better: Avery Two-Pocket Folders

If you’re looking for something a little less generic looking, then I’d go with the black Avery Two-Pocket Folders which look very classy.

Avery Two-Pocket Folders
  • Two interior pockets provide storage space for papers, brochures and more
  • Includes 25 two-pocket folders
Five Star Stay-Put Pocket Folder

Best: Five Star Stay-Put Pocket Folder

Want to look like you’re carrying some REALLY important documents around? Then go for the Five Star Stay-Put Pocket Folder in black. The folder’s made out of plastic to, so it will hold up better.

  • Durable plastic folder helps keep sheets protected and in one place; great for reports, projects, as a take-home folder and for storage
  • Two horizontal pockets hold loose sheets; 3 prongs for securely storing punched paper
  • Pocket for index cards and more; 8.5 x 11 inch sheet size
  • Stay-Put tabs help keep sheets in place
  • Built Strong to Last Long. 11.62 x 9.31 x .25 inches

5. Messenger Bag

Equity research analysts need a bag to carry around their calculator, notebooks, pens, and folders. But leave your backpack in your junior high classroom. Messenger bags are the way to go.
Mobile Edge Eco-Friendly Canvas Messenger Bag

Good: Mobile Edge Eco-Friendly Canvas Messenger Bag

The Mobile Edge Eco-Friendly Canvas Messenger Bag is the #1 best selling messenger bag on Amazon. It has over 1,200 reviews and an average rating of 4.5/5.0 stars.

  • Utility messenger bag in canvas featuring swiveling shoulder strap, dedicated padded computer compartment, and removable ID holder
  • Fits laptops up to 16?
  • Made of all-natural cotton canvas
Casecrown MacBook Pro Campus Horizontal Messenger Bag

Better: Casecrown MacBook Pro Campus Horizontal Messenger Bag

Don’t worry. You don’t need to own a MacBook Pro to own this Casecrown Messenger Bag. In my opinion, the charcoal gray color looks really stylish.

  • Fits up to 15 inch laptops
  • Padded interior divider with elastic band & Velcro closure for secure placement
  • Multiple front, back, interior, side, flap pockets and slots with Velcro & zipper closures
  • Stylish design made from durable canvas material
  • Adjustable shoulder strap attached
Samsonite Colombian Leather Flap-Over Laptop Messenger Bag

Best: Samsonite Colombian Leather Flap-Over Laptop Messenger Bag

Of course, messenger bags look much better when they’re made out of leather. The Samsonite Colombian Leather Flap-Over Laptop Messenger Bag is the most popular leather messenger bag on Amazon, with over 1,700 reviews and an average rating of 4.4/5.0 stars. And the best part is that the messenger bag will look even better over time, as you break in the leather!

  • Leather
  • Hand Wash
  • 12? high
  • 16.5? wide
  • Please note that the leather used in crafting this bag is a natural cowhide that is minimally treated. As a result each bag will be slightly different and have its own unique characteristics. You may notice some imperfections and color variations in the leather.
  • Leather laptop case featuring fold-over flap with adjustable buckle straps and logo embossed at front
  • Removable, adjustable padded shoulder strap

6. Suit

Having a nice suit is obviously a must-have for all equity research analysts. You can’t go wrong with a navy blue or charcoal, 2-button suit. Here are some great suits:
Tommy Hilfiger Side Vent Suit

Good: Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Two Button Side Vent Suit

This is one of the most popular suits on Amazon. It’s available in Charcoal, Navy Blue, Blue, and Brown.

  • 100% Wool
  • Imported
  • Dry Clean Only
  • Trim fit jacket with a natural rounded shoulder
  • Trim fit, flat front pants with unfinished bottom

Better: Calvin Klein Charcoal Slim Fit Suit

Designed in versatile charcoal gray, this suit features a two-button jacket and flat-front slacks for a polished look. You can get this one over at Men’s Wearhouse.

Calvin Klein Charcoal Slim Fit Suit
  • Imported
  • Dry Clean Only

Best: Joseph Abboud Black Stripe Modern Fit Suit

Cut for a slimmer fit through the chest and waist, this black stripe suit features a notch lapel and flat-front slacks. This fine suit is made in the USA of fine European fabric.

  • 100% wool
  • Two-button jacket
    Joseph Abboud Black Stripe Modern Fit Suit
  • Notch lapel
  • Side vents
  • Flat-front slacks, lined to the knee
  • Unhemmed for tailoring
  • Modern Fit
  • Joseph Abboud
  • Made in USA
  • Dry Clean Only

7. Watch

An equity research analyst should never be late for a meeting. And although there are clocks everywhere around us now (our phones, computers, on the TV), a watch still makes an important fashion statement and helps complete your professional look.
Timex Men’s Weekender Analog Canvas Strap Watch

Good: Timex Men’s Weekender Analog Canvas Strap Watch

Timex Men’s Weekender Analog Canvas Strap Watch is one of the most popular watches ever. It has 5,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.3/5.0 stars on Amazon. And the best part is that you can easily swap out the straps to give yourself a boost of color and style if you want.

  • Made in USA and Imported
  • Round silver-tone watch with 24-hour time on inner dial and woven nylon band
  • 38 mm brass case with mineral dial window
  • Quartz movement with analog display
  • Features buckle closure and Indiglo night-light
  • Water resistant to 30 m (99 ft): In general, withstands splashes or brief immersion in water, but not suitable for swimming
Citizen Eco-Drive Men’s Black Ion Plated Axiom Watch

Better: Citizen Eco-Drive Men’s Black Ion Plated Axiom Watch

Citizen makes great watches, and the beautiful Citizen Eco-Drive Men’s Black Ion Plated Axiom Watch is certainly no exception.

  • Stainless Steel
  • Imported
  • Round watch in black stainless-steel featuring spare, streamlined dial and three-link band with foldover clasp
  • Japanese quartz movement and analog display
  • Date window at three o’clock position
  • WR Splash Resistant
Apple 42mm Smart Watch

Best: Apple 42mm Smart Watch

Do I even have to say anything about the Apple Watch?

  • System on a chip: Apple S1
  • Storage: 8 GB
  • Initial operating system: watchOS 1.0
  • Display: 42 mm: 24.34 30.42 mm; 38.96 mm (1.534 in) diagonally, 312390 pixels, 326 PPI
  • Battery: 246mAh

8. Standing Desk

Equity research analysts work a lot… which also means they also sit a lot. Apparently sitting is the new smoking, so this isn’t good news. In any case, it’s great to be able to stand throughout the day and get your blood moving, which also helps you think better and stay sharper. That’s why every equity research analyst needs a standing desk.
Executive Office Solutions Adjustable Desk

Good: Executive Office Solutions Portable Adjustable Aluminum Laptop Desk

If you want a really cheap standing desk, then look no further than the Executive Office Solutions Portable Adjustable Aluminum Laptop Desk. It’s an Amazon bestseller, with almost 1,000 reviews and 4.4/5.0 stars on Amazon.

  • Light weight aluminum tray
  • Fully adjustable legs
  • Multiple different uses
  • Silent USB-powered cooling fans
  • Money back guarantee

Better: CubeFit Standing Desk

CubeFit Standing Desk

The CubeFit Standing Desk is an awesome standing desk at a great place. The CubeFit Standing Desk has an average rating of 4.3/5.0 stars on Amazon.

  • Easily converts to a standing desk in seconds
  • Half the cost of other standing desks
  • Works with laptops or desktops
  • Specialized design to fit on any desk size

Best: Lorell Deluxe Sit-to-Stand Monitor Riser

The Lorell Deluxe Sit-to-Stand Monitor Riser is amazing. It’s so easy to adjust from sitting to standing and is incredibly

Lorell Deluxe Sit-to-Stand Monitor Riser

comfortable to use. It’s the standing desk that I use everyday.

  • 16? Height x 37? Width x 24? Depth – Desktop – Black
  • Designed for 2 monitors or a monitor and laptop
  • Adjustable, ergonomic keyboard tray
  • Adjust riser to 5 heights to sit or stand as you work
  • Ready for use – fully assembled

Special Mention: ApexDesk Vortex Series 6-Button Electric Height Adjustable Sit to Stand Desk

For those in the market for an actual standing desk, the ApexDesk Vortex Series 6-Button Electric Height Adjustable Sit to Stand Desk is the desk that you’ve been looking for, with buttons built in to electronically adjust the desk from sitting to standing and back again.

ApexDesk Vortex Series 6-Button Electric Height Adjustable Sit to Stand Desk

9. Stress Ball

Serenilite Hand Therapy Stress Ball

Finally, work can get very stressful. But that doesn’t mean you should take it out on the office printer. Owning one of these will help:

Good: Serenilite Hand Therapy Stress Ball

This is one of the bestselling stress balls on Amazon, with over 400 reviews and an average rating of 4.7/5.0 stars.

  • Strengthen your joints and muscles
  • The world’s best stress reliever
  • Spark multiple senses
  • A durable stress ball
The Friendly Swede Stress Balls

Better: The Friendly Swede Hand, Finger, and Grip Strengthening Therapy Stress Balls

The Friendly Swede Stress Ball “eggs” are also incredibly highly rated on Amazon, with over 700 customer reviews and 4.8/5.0 stars! These stress balls are great for preventing tension, increasing limberness, and alleviating joint pain.

  • Effective training made simple
  • Sedish design
  • Available in large and small
  • Includes 3 therapy balls
Captains of Crush Hand Gripper

Best: Captains of Crush Hand Gripper

Captains of Crush Hand Gripper by IronMind! As it says on the package, the Captains of Crush Hand Gripper is “the gold standard of grippers”. These will workout and build your forearm strength and grip strength like nothing else – all while you’re sitting at your desk. There are 11 different strength levels to choose from, starting at 60 lbs. and going all the way up to 365 lbs. The Captains of Crush Hand Gripper has 1,200 reviews on Amazon and an average rating of 4.6/5.0 stars!

  • Original, authentic, unmatched— the gold standard for building and testing grip strength
  • Designed to produce the quickest gains in grip strength and hand health
  • Premium materials, proprietary elements, precision manufacturing and unrivaled customer support—all from the USA
  • Available in 10 strengths for a Savile Row fit, whether you are just starting off, rehabilitating an injury, or can already crack coconuts with your bare hands
  • Most popular strengths are the Trainer and No. 1
Ben Graham, the father of value investing, wasn’t born in this century. Nor was he born in the last century. Benjamin Graham – born Benjamin Grossbaum – was born in London, England in 1894. He published the value investing bible Security Analysis in 1934, which was followed by the value investing New Testament The Intelligent Investor in 1949. Warren Buffett, the value investing messiah and Graham’s most famous and successful disciple, was born in 1930 and attended Graham’s classes at Columbia in 1950-51. And the not-so-prodigal son Charlie Munger even has Warren beat by six years – he was born in 1924. I’m not trying to give a history lesson here, but I find these dates very interesting. Value investing is an old strategy. It’s been around for a long time, long before the Capital Asset Pricing Model, long before the Black-Scholes Model, long before CLO’s, long before the founders of today’s hottest high-tech IPOs were even born. And yet people have very short term memories. Once a bull market gets some legs in it, the quest to get “the most money as quickly as possible” causes prices to get bid up. Human nature kicks in and dollar signs start appearing in people’s eyes. New methodologies are touted and fundamental principles are left in the rear view mirror. “Today is always the dawning of a new age. Things are different than they were yesterday. The world is changing and we must adapt.” Yes, all very true statements but the new and “fool-proof” methods and strategies and overleveraging and excess risk-taking only work when the economic environmental conditions allow them to work. Using the latest “fool-proof” investment strategy is like running around a thunderstorm with a lightning rod in your hand: if you’re unharmed after a while then it might seem like you’ve developed a method to avoid getting struck by lightning – but sooner or later you will get hit. And yet value investors are for the most part immune to the thunder and lightning. This isn’t at all to say that value investors never lose money, go bust, or suffer during recessions. However, by sticking to fundamentals and avoiding excessive risk-taking (i.e. dumb decisions), the collective value investor class seems to have much fewer examples of the spectacular crash-and-burn cases that often are found with investors’ who employ different strategies. As a result, value investors have historically outperformed other types of investors over the long term. And there is plenty of empirical evidence to back this up. Check this and this and this and this out. In fact, since 1926 value stocks have outperformed growth stocks by an average of four percentage points annually, according to the authoritative index compiled by finance professors Eugene Fama of the University of Chicago and Kenneth French of Dartmouth College. So, the value investing philosophy has endured for over 80 years and is the most consistently successful strategy that can be applied. And while hot stocks, over-leveraged portfolios, and the newest complicated financial strategies will come and go, making many wishful investors rich very quick and poor even quicker, value investing will quietly continue to help its adherents fatten their wallets. It will always endure and will always remain classically in fashion. In other words, value investing is vintage. Which explains half of this website’s name. As for the value part? The intention of this site is to explain, discuss, ask, learn, teach, and debate those topics and questions that I’ve always been most interested in, and hopefully that you’re most curious about, too. This includes: What is value investing? Value investing strategies Stock picks Company reviews Basic financial concepts Investor profiles Investment ideas Current events Economics Behavioral finance And, ultimately, ways to become a better investor I want to note the importance of the way I use value here. It’s not the simplistic definition of “low P/E” stocks that some financial services lazily use to classify investors, which the word “value” has recently morphed into meaning. To me, value investing equates to the term “Intelligent Investing,” as described by Ben Graham. Intelligent investing involves analyzing a company’s fundamentals and can be characterized by an intense focus on a stock’s price, it’s intrinsic value, and the very important ratio between the two. This is value investing as the term was originally meant to be used decades ago, and is the only way it should be used today. So without much further ado, it’s my very good honor to meet you and you may call me…
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