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Become A Business & Finance Analyst

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Working As A Business & Finance Analyst

  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $58,514

    Average Salary

What Does A Business & Finance Analyst Do

Financial analysts provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments.

Duties

Financial analysts typically do the following:

  • Recommend individual investments and collections of investments, which are known as portfolios
  • Evaluate current and historical financial data
  • Study economic and business trends
  • Examine a company’s financial statements to determine its value
  • Meet with company officials to gain better insight into the company’s prospects
  • Assess the strength of the management team
  • Prepare written reports

Financial analysts evaluate investment opportunities. They work in banks, pension funds, mutual funds, securities firms, insurance companies, and other businesses. Financial analysts are also called securities analysts and investment analysts.

Financial analysts can be divided into two categories: buy-side analysts and sell-side analysts.

  • Buy-side analysts develop investment strategies for companies that have a lot of money to invest. These companies, called institutional investors, include mutual funds, hedge funds, insurance companies, independent money managers, and nonprofit organizations with large endowments, such as some universities.
  • Sell-side analysts advise financial services sales agents who sell stocks, bonds, and other investments.

Some analysts work for the business media or other research houses, which are independent from the buy and sell side.

Financial analysts generally focus on trends affecting a specific industry, geographical region, or type of product. For example, an analyst may focus on a subject area such as the energy industry, a world region such as Eastern Europe, or the foreign exchange market. They must understand how new regulations, policies, and political and economic trends may affect investments.

Investing is becoming more global, and some financial analysts specialize in a particular country or region. Companies want those financial analysts to understand the language, culture, business environment, and political conditions in the country or region that they cover.

The following are examples of types of financial analysts:

Portfolio managers select the mix of products, industries, and regions for their company’s investment portfolio. These managers are responsible for the overall performance of the portfolio. They are also expected to explain investment decisions and strategies in meetings with stakeholders.

Fund managers work exclusively with hedge funds or mutual funds. Both fund and portfolio managers frequently make buy or sell decisions in reaction to quickly changing market conditions.

Ratings analysts evaluate the ability of companies or governments to pay their debts, including bonds. On the basis of their evaluation, a management team rates the risk of a company or government not being able to repay its bonds.

Risk analysts evaluate the risk in investment decisions and determine how to manage unpredictability and limit potential losses. This job is carried out by making investment decisions such as selecting dissimilar stocks or having a combination of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds in a portfolio.

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How To Become A Business & Finance Analyst

Financial analysts typically must have a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree is often required for advanced positions.

Education

Most positions require a bachelor’s degree. A number of fields of study provide appropriate preparation, including accounting, economics, finance, statistics, and mathematics. For advanced positions, employers often require a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or a master’s degree in finance. Knowledge of options pricing, bond valuation, and risk management are important.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the main licensing organization for the securities industry. It requires licenses for many financial analyst positions. Most of the licenses require sponsorship by an employer, so companies do not expect individuals to have these licenses before starting a job.

Certification is often recommended by employers and can improve the chances for advancement. An example is the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification from the CFA Institute. Financial analysts can become CFA certified if they have a bachelor’s degree, 4 years of qualified work experience, and pass three exams. Financial analysts can also become certified in their field of specialty.

Advancement

Financial analysts typically start by specializing in a specific investment field. As they gain experience, they can become portfolio managers, who select the mix of investments for a company’s portfolio. They can also become fund managers, who manage large investment portfolios for individual investors. A master’s degree in finance or business administration can improve an analyst’s chances of advancing to one of these positions.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Financial analysts must process a range of information in finding profitable investments.

Communication skills. Financial analysts must explain their recommendations to clients in clear language that clients can easily understand.

Computer skills. Financial analysts must be adept at using software packages to analyze financial data, see trends, create portfolios, and make forecasts.

Decisionmaking skills. Financial analysts must provide a recommendation to buy, hold, or sell a security.

Detail oriented. Financial analysts must pay attention to details when reviewing possible investments, as small issues may have large implications for the health of an investment.

Math skills. Financial analysts use mathematical skills when estimating the value of financial securities. 

To be successful, financial analysts must be motivated to seek out obscure information that may be important to the investment. Many work independently and must have self-confidence in their judgment.

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Business & Finance Analyst jobs

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Business & Finance Analyst Career Paths

Business & Finance Analyst
Finance Manager Controller Chief Finance Officer
Chief Finance And Operating Officer
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Finance Analyst Controller
Corporate Controller
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Finance Analyst Finance Manager Controller
Director Of Accounting & Finance
11 Yearsyrs
Business & Data Analyst Senior Business Analyst Finance Manager
Division Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Analyst Senior Manager Controller
Finance Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Chief Operating Officer Finance Consultant
Finance Leader
8 Yearsyrs
Analyst Finance Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Finance Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Senior Specialist Senior Finance Analyst
Finance Planning Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Business & Data Analyst Business Analyst-Consultant Senior Finance Analyst
Finance Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Analyst Senior Manager Controller
Finance Vice President
9 Yearsyrs
Analyst Business Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Manager Finance Planning And Analysis
8 Yearsyrs
Controller Finance Consultant Senior Finance Analyst
Manager, Finance Analysis
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Finance Analyst Finance Manager Sales Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Analyst Senior Finance Analyst Accounting Manager
Plant Controller
10 Yearsyrs
Finance Manager Business Manager Controller
Regional Controller
10 Yearsyrs
General Manager Finance Advisor Senior Finance Analyst
Reporting Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Consultant Contractor/Consultant Accounting Consultant
Senior Accounting Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Controller Finance Director
Senior Director Of Finance
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Finance Analyst Senior Business Analyst Finance Manager
Senior Finance Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Analyst Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Staff Analyst 3.8 years
Business Analyst 3.0 years
Finance Analyst 2.8 years
Finance Consultant 2.7 years
Asset Analyst 2.7 years
Commercial Analyst 2.6 years
Analyst 2.4 years
Junior IS Analyst 1.5 years
Top Employers Before
Accountant 4.6%
Consultant 3.5%
Internship 3.5%
Analyst 2.5%
Auditor 2.3%
Manager 1.9%
Top Employers After
Consultant 4.7%
Analyst 3.3%
Manager 2.9%
Controller 2.5%

Business & Finance Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

55.4%

Female

40.8%

Unknown

3.9%
Ethnicity

White

70.7%

Asian

15.7%

Hispanic or Latino

8.5%

Unknown

3.2%

Black or African American

1.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

26.4%

French

17.0%

Chinese

13.2%

German

5.7%

Mandarin

5.7%

Russian

3.8%

Italian

3.8%

Telugu

1.9%

Georgian

1.9%

Cantonese

1.9%

Japanese

1.9%

Dari

1.9%

Persian

1.9%

Burmese

1.9%

Hindi

1.9%

Armenian

1.9%

Polish

1.9%

Korean

1.9%

Arabic

1.9%

Thai

1.9%
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Business & Finance Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.7%

Strayer University

9.3%

Saint Louis University-

5.6%

University of Texas at Dallas

5.6%

Southern New Hampshire University

5.6%

George Washington University

4.6%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.6%

University of Maryland - University College

4.6%

Georgia State University

4.6%

University of Colorado at Boulder

4.6%

Pennsylvania State University

3.7%

Regis University

3.7%

University of Southern California

3.7%

University of Texas at Austin

3.7%

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

3.7%

Case Western Reserve University

3.7%

Liberty University

3.7%

Ohio University -

2.8%

Appalachian State University

2.8%

Argosy University-Phoenix

2.8%
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Majors

Business

33.5%

Finance

21.3%

Accounting

15.4%

Management

5.0%

Economics

3.6%

Project Management

2.7%

Management Information Systems

2.3%

Marketing

2.2%

Computer Information Systems

1.8%

Computer Science

1.6%

Management Science

1.4%

Business Economics

1.4%

Information Technology

1.4%

Psychology

1.3%

Mathematics

1.1%

International Business

0.9%

Law

0.9%

English

0.7%

Criminal Justice

0.7%

Political Science

0.7%
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Degrees

Masters

47.6%

Bachelors

37.3%

Other

9.2%

Certificate

2.3%

Associate

2.3%

Doctorate

1.2%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Business & Finance Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Financial Analyst-Strategic Business Development Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. San Francisco, CA Aug 10, 2015 $220,000
Business Analyst Lead, Risk, Finance, and Treasury Technology JP Morgan Chase & Co New York, NY Feb 24, 2016 $145,101
Business Analyst, Finance/Tax Lazard Freres & Co. LLC New York, NY Sep 20, 2016 $134,000
Business Analyst-Oracle Finance Milgard Manufacturing, Inc. Tacoma, WA Aug 17, 2015 $130,000
Finance Business Analyst Cooperatieve Rabobank U.A. New York, NY Nov 15, 2016 $130,000
Business Analyst-Finance Milgard Manufacturing, Inc. Tacoma, WA Oct 26, 2015 $130,000
Business Analyst, Finance/Tax Lazard Freres & Co. LLC. New York, NY Jun 27, 2016 $129,000
Oracle Financial Business Analyst Knoll, Inc. East Greenville, PA Oct 24, 2016 $125,000
Business Analyst-Finance Ingram Micro Irvine, CA May 27, 2016 $122,400
Financial Business Analyst Jpmorgan Chase & Co. New York, NY Aug 30, 2016 $122,225
Financial Business Analyst Jpmorgan Chase & Co. New York, NY Jan 13, 2015 $120,000
Business Analyst-Finance Ak Systems Inc. Edison, NJ Dec 29, 2016 $116,800
Financial Business Analyst JP Morgan Chase & Co New York, NY Aug 12, 2015 $115,000
Business Analyst/Financial Analyst Radus TEK Services, Inc. NJ Jun 30, 2016 $79,227
Financial Analyst/Business Analyst Radus TEK Services, Inc. Somerset, NJ Jan 16, 2015 $79,102
Business Analyst/Financial Analyst Radus TEK Services, Inc. Somerset, NJ Sep 12, 2015 $79,102
Financial Analyst/Business Analyst Radus TEK Services, Inc. Somerset, NJ Oct 26, 2015 $79,102
Financial and Business Analyst Alfa Escrow Inc. Industry, CA Sep 20, 2016 $78,874
Business Financial Analyst Epath Digital, LP Laguna Beach, CA Dec 15, 2016 $78,853
Business Financial Analyst Eveear Technologies Inc. CA Oct 11, 2016 $77,376
Business Financial Analyst Martin Flyer Jewelry LLC New York, NY May 13, 2016 $77,000
Financial Business Analyst II Apollo Education Group, Inc. Phoenix, AZ Dec 20, 2016 $69,299
Business/Financial Analyst United Tower Associate Inc. New York, NY Feb 10, 2016 $68,871
Business Analyst-Financial Systems Benefit Cosmetics LLC San Francisco, CA Dec 26, 2015 $68,000 -
$75,000
Financial Business Analyst Canvas Infotech, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 18, 2015 $67,828
Financial & Business Analyst 2U Life LLC Vienna, VA Nov 09, 2016 $67,828
Financial and Business Analyst UFO Engineering Inc. Milpitas, CA Sep 16, 2015 $66,789
Business Immigration Financial Analyst Yerman and Associates LLC New York, NY Sep 05, 2015 $66,784

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Top Skills for A Business & Finance Analyst

FinancialAnalysisProceduresDataWarehouseBusinessUnitAuditBusinessProcessVarianceAnalysisGeneralLedgerSQLFinancialReportsERPFinancialStatementsFinancialDataBusinessRequirementsAnnualBudgetPProjectManagementProcessImprovementAssetIncome

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Top Business & Finance Analyst Skills

  1. Financial Analysis
  2. Procedures
  3. Data Warehouse
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided financial analysis to support execution of strategy to increase revenues, profitability, and market share.
  • Developed model forecasting and budgeting procedures to consolidate multiple departments and divisions.
  • Mapped data for new application to the new to the Data Warehouse.
  • Provided consistent budget updates and performance explanation to cost centers and business unit's owner.
  • Coordinated compliance requests and provide support during internal reviews and external audits.

Top Business & Finance Analyst Employers

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Business & Finance Analyst Videos

Career Advice on becoming a Management Accountant by Matthew R (Full Version)

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