I have a dumb q. I apologize in advance. Do investment bank analysts (eg in M&A or equity research) research mutual funds and pension funds? Do hedge funds analyst only look at hedge funds? I’m so confused lol

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Here are the different types of Wall Street firms: - Investment banks (M&A) - Prime Brokers (brokerage for institutional investors or buy side firms) - Buy side firms (hedge funds, mutual funds) - Sell side firms (Sales & Trading, Equity Research) - VCs and PEs Equity Analysts research companies typically in a particular sector. Their job is to fully understand a sector - its consumers, buyers, suppliers, partners. They know the companies. They know the trends. They attend conferences. They meet management companies. Their job is to make stock recommendations to the buy side of Wall Street. You know when you read that Barclays has upgraded a stock from hold to buy? That’s driven by an equity analyst at Barclays sell side arm. They often do this via their Sales & Trading desk who have direct contacts with buy side managers - portfolio managers and hedge fund managers. All large I-banks (also known as bulge bracket) have all these arms that have a Chinese wall in between. Meaning their sell side and buy side can’t talk and share; they’re highly monitored.

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The important thing to remember is that the I-banking research analyst isn’t working for the retail investor. Their primary function is as a marketing vehicle for the bank. They are a service for buy side fund managers looking to trade a stock or participate in an investment banking deal. Their work can be useful but don’t rely on their ratings too much since the bias will almost always be positive. They usually don’t cover mutual funds or ETFs. For that look for their macro notes or themes type notes that usually come out every few months. They will outline key trends they’re thinking about. From there you can narrow your own search on ETFs that follow those themes.

Please don’t preface questions like that. Dumb can’t be in your job description and if you feel dumb and then there’s me with my artsy Ivy grad school what hope is there for me. It already took all my courage to join this bowl and try to learn something.

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