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Financial Analyst Career

Career Description

Overview

Financial analysts help businesses and personal investors make sound investment choices. They critically research, analyze and assess the complexities of financial investments. They also advise companies about buying and selling stock based on their knowledge and study of the field. Any person pursuing a financial analyst career will need to keep abreast of current conditions in their field and the ability to predict and make sound recommendations regarding the changing market trends.

How to Become a Financial Analyst?

A financial analyst career requires formal education and training. Students may enroll in on-campus or online programs in Business, Accounting, Economics and Mathematics. Online programs leading up to a financial analyst career are very convenient and can be completed at one’s convenience. A bachelor’s degree will open up the way to entry level jobs in the field, such as those of junior analysts. On the other hand, students with an MBA may be hired directly as senior analysts.
Students from an economics background who are interested in the field may want to sit for the Series 7 and Series 63 examination or participate in the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program to improve their job prospects.

Along with these educational requirements, analysts need to have very strong statistical skills as well as a thorough grasp of using computer software that helps them with financial analyses.

Financial Analyst Career Details

There are three main categories of financial analysts – those who work for investment banks, those who work for ‘buy-side’ investment firms and those who work for ‘sell-side’ investment firms. Investment banks help their clients raise capital by helping them obtain securities. Sell-side firms include firms are brokerage firms where analysts evaluate their clients’ future growth and investment opportunities while buy-side firms are money management firms where analysts work for internal management.

Financial analysts are usually well paid and remuneration becomes even better with increasing qualifications and experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual pay for financial analysts was $74,350 in 2010. Job outlook, from 2010 – 2020, is 23%, which is greater than average. This trend can be explained by increasing globalization which opens up opportunities for analysts with diverse geographical knowledge.

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