Janine started her formal career at Coronation Fund Managers before taking on a position as an equity analyst at Avior Capital Markets. She tells us a little bit about what it’s like to work in the fast-paced beverage sector, and what she’s learned on her investment journey so far...
Did you always want to work in financial markets?
I studied investment management and financial planning as part of my undergraduate degree, finishing with Honours in investment management. I wanted to be a financial planner, and it was only towards the end of my Honours year that I realised that my real passion was actually directed towards financial markets. For that reason, I decided to go the analyst route, and am really enjoying the beverage sector, working daily with companies ranging from Distell on the local front to the large multinational beverage companies.
Can you describe a typical "day on the job"?
My work day kicks off at 7am. I get into the office along with all the other analysts and we start reading about our specific sectors, as well as the news in general in order to be informed about anything that might affect our stocks. The whole company then has a morning meeting, together with the Joburg office, where we discuss any major events or changes in the economy along with recommendations. After that, every day is different, but the basic tasks include building models - trying to predict what’s going to happen and working on our assumptions - and writing reports based on our stocks. Client meetings also take up a large part of our day-to-day activities, both face-to-face and over the phone.
What has surprised you the most about being in this industry?
I must say that, while I knew that it was going to be a challenging career, nothing quite prepares you for the hours that people in this industry put in - they work really hard and it is anything but a "nine-to-five" job. In the analyst industry in particular you have to build up your own brand, so you are responsible for your sector - it’s not like you have the company to fall back on, so there’s a lot of responsibility involved. The challenge comes in balancing work (long hours within a stressful environment) and life; particularly as I am currently studying for my Level 3 CFA in my "spare" time! I think I expected the industry to be more of a "boys club" and while it is male-dominated (and it is tough being a woman in this context) I have not experienced discrimination of any sort. I feel that men and women are treated alike; it is all about the value that you can add and what you bring to the table, regardless of gender.
What sets you apart in your trading approach?
For trading specifically, I try to keep my emotions separate from my trading and not let upward or downward trends affect my position too much. I think the focus should be on the fundamentals, and that should prevail over the long run.
What advice do you have for those entering the sector?
It’s not major advice, but I would say that commitment and perseverance is the main thing for succeeding in the investment industry. And success may not be today or tomorrow, but in the long run you will get there if you put in the effort that is required. Reading up about what’s involved and having conversations with people in the industry is critical in order to have an informed opinion. A good mentor is also important; I am extremely fortunate to be working with someone who has a lot of patience and is also a top rated analyst - I’ve gained so much knowledge in a short space of time. This is definitely not a career for every man or woman. It’s going to take up a large portion of your life, so you want it to be a pleasant experience - and that will only be the case if you’re prepared to be challenged!
Any tips for non-professionals keen to start trading?
If you don’t have any experience in trading, you should probably just start small and play around with basic unit trusts. A lot of the investment companies have very focused unit trusts that you can invest in, for example within the financial industry or property sector. Start off with a small debit order, and as you start monitoring your portfolio you will learn more about the industry, and then at a later stage you can enter the direct trade market.
WANT MORE ’FEMMES IN FINANCE’? READ HERE:
Economist At Citibank - Gina Schoeman | Technical Analyst - Moxima Gama | Client Manager at Incompass Financial Solutions - Anja Du Plessis | Retail Client Service Consultant at Coronation Fund Managers - Kylie Janse van Vuuren
Nicole Cameron is a features writer with over twelve years’ experience, focusing primarily on the business market with a niche focus on entrepreneurship. She has written on a variety of topics for Sharenet and is excited to be focusing on women in finance in her new monthly column "Femmes in Finance". She holds a Business Science degree from UCT and is passionate about reporting on the events and people that make up the local business landscape.