Buy-Side vs. Sell-Side Analysts: What's the Difference?

In the world of financial markets, there are two different types of analysts: buy-side and sell-side. When investing, it's important to understand the difference between these two groups and what they each bring to the table. The following post will discuss some of the key differences between buy-side and sell-side analysts, as well as what role they play in the world of financial markets. The two types of analysts differ in the type of firm that employs them and the people to whom they make recommendations.

A sell-side analyst is an individual who works for a brokerage or investment firm that provides recommendations to the clients of the firm. A buy-side analyst is an individual who works for institutional investors, such as hedge funds, pension funds, or mutual funds. These analysts conduct research and make recommendations to the money managers who work for the fund that employs them.

Buy-Side Analyst

Buy-side analysts play an important role in investment firms. They are responsible for assessing the potential of an investment and determining whether or not it aligns with the firm's investment strategy. Their recommendations are based on this evidence and are only available to the firm that employs them; this is because if a fund has a good analyst, it doesn't want competing for funds to have access to the same advice. The success or talent of a buy-side analyst is often gauged by the number of profitable recommendations they make for the fund.

A buy-side analyst is more worried about being accurate than a sell-side analyst is. In reality, sidestepping the negative is frequently the main part of the buy-side analyst's responsibility, and numerous analysts go after their job from the point of view of working out what can go wrong with an idea.

Sell-Side Analyst

Sell-side analysts play an important role in the stock market by issuing recommendations on whether to buy or sell certain stocks. These recommendations help clients make informed decisions about their investments. In return, brokerages get a commission on the transactions whenever a client decides to trade stock based on the analyst's recommendation.

The job of a sell-side analyst is to convince institutional investors to direct their trading through the analyst's firm. This is very much a marketing role, as the analyst needs to sell the firm's services to potential clients. Many people think that sell-side analysts choose to recommend or change their opinion on stock to create transactions; however, this is not always the case. While it's important to realize that these analysts are paid by the brokerage and not the client, this does not mean that their opinions are always biased.

Key Differences between But-side and Sell-side analyst

A buy-side analyst works for an investment bank or an advisory firm and is responsible for performing fundamental and quantitative analysis on a particular company. A sell-side analyst is employed by the target company and is responsible for providing research reports, investment recommendations, and industry commentary to investors.

Buy-side and sell-side analysts both play important roles in the securities market. But what exactly do these terms mean?

In investment firms, "buy-side" and "sell-side" refer to different services that are provided. Sell-side firms, such as brokerages and investment bankers, act as market makers and provide trading services to their clients. They are registered members of stock exchanges and make a commission or spread on each trade.

Meanwhile, buy-side firms focus on making investments for their clients. They use the research performed by sell-side analysts to inform their decisions.

So, while both buy-side and sell-side analysts play important roles in the securities market, their responsibilities are quite different.

On the other hand, buy-side firms utilize sell-side services to make investments. Hedge funds, asset managers, and pension funds typically buy or sell securities with the goal of earning a profit.

Example of Buy-Side Analyst vs. Sell-Side Analyst

To understand the difference between buy-side and sell-side analysts, imagine the interactions between two hypothetical firms. Asset manager A is a buy-side firm that manages a portfolio of securities on behalf of clients. On the sell-side, broker B provides market services, such as access to the stock exchange.

Buy-side analysts research companies and industries to identify opportunities for their clients to make money. Sell-side analysts provide research and recommendations to help broker B's clients make money in the markets.

While both firms employ analysts, the roles these analysts fill differ. The analysts working for Broker B will generally produce market research to be sold to firms such as Manager A. These analysts will evaluate various public companies, conducting both technical and fundamental analysis before delivering their findings - which will include a "buy" or "sell" recommendation - to their clients.

On the buy-side, Asset Manager A's analysts will conduct their own research and compare their findings with paid research, such as that produced by Broker B. However, Manager A's research is intended for internal consumption, rather than sale to other firms. Based on their recommendations, the asset manager will buy, sell, or hold positions in various securities in anticipation of future profits. By understanding both the internal and external factors at play, the asset manager is better equipped to make more informed decisions about which assets are worth investing in and when to buy or sell them.

How Much Do Buy-Side Analysts Make?

The average salary for a buy-side analyst is quite high, ZipRecruiter reports. As of August 2021, the average salary is $108,000 per year. However, this does not account for bonuses or other benefits, which can be significant. Also, salaries can differ based on the city, firm, and experience of the analyst.

How Much Do Sell-Side Analysts Make?

In the US, the average Sell Side Research Analyst makes $280,000. However, those in New York, NY tend to make 7% more than the average American research analyst, amounting to an average of $300,000.


When you’re just getting started in the industry, it can be difficult to understand what the difference is between buy-side and sell-side analysts. There are many different types of analysts, and it’s important to understand which type of analyst you want to become. Some argue that buy-side analysts have more influence over their companies, while others argue that sell-side analysts make more money. We hope that this blog helped you understand the difference between buy-side and sell-side analysts and which type you want to become. It is important to understand the difference between the two types of analysts as it can help you to better understand the financial industry. The best way to learn is to experience the financial industry for yourself.

Self education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.

Isaac Asimov

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