A portfolio analyst conducts analyses of investment decisions and recommends whether a security should be bought, sold or held. There is a variety of skills and knowledge needed to become a successful portfolio analyst. You must have strong critical thinking, writing, analytical and quantitative skills. You also must have knowledge of economics, accounting, politics, mathematics and computer science.

If you want to become a portfolio analyst, you must be able to think critically. A portfolio analyst needs to use logic and reasoning skills in order to evaluate alternative solutions to problems associated with investment decisions. You must be able to convey your solutions by effectively writing for the audience viewing your work. Quantitative skills are a plus, as well, because you can use mathematics to solve these solutions.

Along with these skills, you must possess knowledge in a variety of fields. You must know how the economy impacts investment decisions and the financial markets as well as accounting principles and how companies report their earnings and data. Knowledge of politics helps to assess political risk and how it may affect the financial markets and prices of commodities.

To bring this all together efficiently, knowledge of mathematics and computer science are beneficial. Knowledge of calculus, statistics and probability, as well as their applications, helps you efficiently assess solutions to investment problems and analyze market data. You must also possess a strong background in computer science in order to use mathematics and economics efficiently to solve qualitative problems and provide research and solutions for the audience.