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Researchers are the ones who actually research the company, including visiting them. You know those Janus ads where they brag about going and counting fiber optic cables? That is a researcher. It is frequently the way people start for a fund house.

An analyst takes the research, in addition to the financial statements, and analyzes them to reach a recommendation. A well know example would be Blodget.

As a retail broker, which is what it sounds like you want to be, the first few years suck. YOu will spend most of your time trying to build a book of business. It is getting a little easier, I think, with the chance of philosophy to managed assets rather than transaction based. Expect long hours and low pay until you have a decent book. After you have your book the job is great, you can worry less about building your book because if you are any good, and the key is service, you will have enough referals from existing business.

As far as getting jobs on Wall Street, I never really pursued it, but from talking to friends who did I know that the competition is pretty stiff.
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