We study sell-side analysts’ motives to diversify their portfolios across industries. Despite the negative association between diversification and accuracy, more than 60% of analysts cover multiple industries. We argue that analysts’ choice to diversify is rooted in concerns about future job security. We find that more diversified analysts are less likely to experience job turnover and leave the profession but are not more likely to advance their careers. For experienced and all-star analysts, diversification does not improve career outcomes. We conclude that industry diversification is a safety mechanism for inexperienced and unranked analysts who are concerned about job security.
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