Making the Jump From Accounting to Investing

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What is the most viable way to move from accounting to investment analysis?

That question is on the minds of a fair number of eFC users, judging from the emails and article comments that we receive.

Within the U.S., financial-sector employers tend to view accounting and investment analysis as not just distinct roles, but as wholly separate career tracks with little potential for overlap. Elsewhere in the English-speaking world, a Chartered Accountant designation may be perceived as somewhat more fungible toward working as an investment professional.

In any case, moving from a bank or asset management firm's finance department into investment research or portfolio management remains a long-shot.

Does a road map exist for such a transition? If so, what are the most promising signposts - intermediate steps that might make the goal more achievable?