If you have a head for numbers, you might want to pursue a career as a financial analyst. These professionals track stocks, bonds, equities, and other financial instruments and make recommendations based on their research. They often work for banks, investment houses, stock brokerages, insurance agencies, and similar institutions. If you prioritize education, you can create a lucrative career in this industry, particularly if you enjoy high-risk, high-reward situations.

Learning how to become a financial analyst is the first step toward building that future. Although you can take many routes to a job in financial analysis, you’ll enjoy more success if you know what potential employers will look for and how they choose the best candidates for open positions.

What Does a Financial Analyst Do?

A financial analyst job description will vary depending on the employer. For instance, insurance companies have different needs than an investment bank. Some financial analysts make recommendations for private, in-house funds. In other words, your buying and selling suggestions are based on your employer’s potential gains from those activities, and may deal with stocks, bonds, or other securities. However, financial analysts can also work for publications and businesses that make public recommendations.

Outside of investments, some financial analysts make observations and recommendations for a company’s solvency. By analyzing financial documents and the current market, the analyst can help the business make critical decisions in terms of merchandising, budgeting, and forecasting.

Work Environment

Financial analysts bear tremendous responsibility for the financial performance of an investment or corporate firm. Consequently, this is a high-stress job that requires fast decision making and utmost confidence. Most financial analysts work in typical corporate offices. They often spend considerable time on the phone calling experts, other analysts, and prospective trading partners.

Some financial analysts also travel to meet with investment bankers, C-level executives, and other professionals in the industry. Many analysts live in major cities, such as New York City and Chicago, because they can find jobs in greater abundance. While some analysts telecommute or work freelancing positions, this is far less common.

Job Prospects

Financial analysts have ample job opportunities with insurance companies, banks, securities firms, pension and mutual funds, etc. As the fundamental skill of financial analysts is to assist customers in the investment process, they can even have their own office and operate independently and develop a sound customer base.

Additionally, they can do accounts and prepare financial statements, do auditing, or assess taxes. Cost accountancy is another segment where a financial analyst can excel. Some financial analysts are hired to do special company work or investigate and ascertain the financial position of business house for the purpose of issue of new shares, purchase or sale or financing of business, etc. Secretarial work in companies, account management and share valuation, etc are some other works for financial

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