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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

  • $66,962

    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 Videos

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Business & Finance Analyst Career Paths

Business & Finance Analyst
Manager Finance Planning And Analysis Manager, Finance Analysis Assistant Controller
Assistant Corporate Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Sales Consultant Finance Manager
Business Manager-Finance Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Finance Analyst Controller
Controller, Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Finance Analyst Finance Manager Controller
Controller/Business Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Analyst Senior Manager Controller
Controller/Director Of Finance
11 Yearsyrs
Finance Manager Business Manager Controller
Controller/Finance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Controller Accounting Consultant Accounting Manager
Corporate Accounting Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Business Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Cost Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst/Project Manager Information Technology Consultant Business Systems Senior Analyst
Director Of Business Systems
12 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Accounts Payable Clerk Accounting Manager
Division Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Finance Systems Analyst Accounting Manager Assistant Controller
Divisional Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Finance Analyst Senior Business Analyst Finance Manager
Finance Planning Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Controller Finance Consultant Senior Finance Analyst
Finance Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Finance Analyst Finance Manager Controller
Finance Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Business & Data Analyst Reporting Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Manager-Finance Systems
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Property Manager Accountant
Manager/Finance Accounting
8 Yearsyrs
Business & Data Analyst Senior Business Analyst Finance Manager
Regional Finance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Finance Manager Controller
Senior Accounting Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Analyst Product Manager Business Manager
Senior Business Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Finance Systems Analyst Senior Finance Analyst Plant Controller
Unit Controller
8 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Business & Finance Analyst?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Finance Analyst 2.7 years
Top Careers Before Business & Finance Analyst
Accountant 5.7%
Internship 4.1%
Analyst 3.7%
Consultant 3.3%
Controller 2.1%
Top Careers After Business & Finance Analyst
Consultant 4.4%
Analyst 2.5%
Controller 2.4%
Accountant 2.2%

Do you work as a Business & Finance Analyst?

Business & Finance Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

55.2%

Female

40.6%

Unknown

4.2%
Ethnicity

White

51.7%

Asian

18.3%

Hispanic or Latino

13.4%

Black or African American

11.1%

Unknown

5.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

30.8%

French

13.0%

Mandarin

10.3%

Chinese

9.6%

Hindi

6.2%

German

4.8%

Japanese

4.8%

Cantonese

3.4%

Arabic

2.7%

Gujarati

2.1%

Italian

2.1%

Urdu

2.1%

Korean

1.4%

Russian

1.4%

Thai

1.4%

Portuguese

1.4%

Telugu

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Marathi

0.7%

Danish

0.7%
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Business & Finance Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.0%

New York University

7.1%

George Washington University

6.7%

Northeastern University

5.9%

DePaul University

5.4%

Southern New Hampshire University

5.4%

Strayer University

5.0%

University of Texas at Dallas

4.2%

Xavier University

3.8%

Georgia State University

3.8%

Fordham University

3.8%

George Mason University

3.8%

University of Houston

3.8%

Saint Louis University-

3.3%

University of North Texas

3.3%

Pennsylvania State University

3.3%

University of Southern California

3.3%

University of Texas at Austin

3.3%

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

3.3%

Boston University

3.3%
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Majors

Business

31.2%

Finance

24.6%

Accounting

16.3%

Management

4.2%

Economics

3.4%

Project Management

3.0%

Management Information Systems

2.1%

Information Technology

2.1%

Marketing

2.1%

Computer Information Systems

2.0%

Computer Science

1.6%

Psychology

1.1%

Management Science

1.0%

Political Science

1.0%

Business Economics

0.8%

Statistics

0.7%

Human Resources Management

0.7%

Information Systems

0.7%

International Business

0.7%

Law

0.7%
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Degrees

Masters

48.0%

Bachelors

37.1%

Other

8.3%

Certificate

2.9%

Associate

2.2%

Doctorate

1.0%

License

0.2%

Diploma

0.2%
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Business & Finance Analyst Videos

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

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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
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 2U Life LLC Vienna, VA Nov 09, 2016 $67,828
Financial Business Analyst Canvas Infotech, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 18, 2015 $67,828
Financial and Business Analyst UFO Engineering Inc. Milpitas, CA Sep 16, 2015 $66,789
Business/Financial Analyst Peace Islands Institute, Inc. New York, NY Sep 15, 2016 $66,784

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Top Skills for A Business & Finance Analyst

  1. Financial Statements
  2. Process Improvement
  3. Business Requirements
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Analyzed financial statements and provided improvement recommendations
  • Managed process improvement projects for Treasury/Finance/Operations.
  • Participated in the identification, understanding, and documentation of business requirements, including the applications capable of supporting those requirements.
  • Reviewed grant contracts to ensure compliance with private and government funding-agency regulations.
  • Leveraged SQL queries to perform root cause analysis for customer issues and worked with the development team to fix the issues.

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Top 10 Best States for Business & Finance Analysts

  1. Massachusetts
  2. New York
  3. Connecticut
  4. New Jersey
  5. Minnesota
  6. Colorado
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. California
  9. Illinois
  10. District of Columbia
  • (1,788 jobs)
  • (2,942 jobs)
  • (737 jobs)
  • (1,489 jobs)
  • (1,320 jobs)
  • (946 jobs)
  • (1,503 jobs)
  • (6,686 jobs)
  • (2,324 jobs)
  • (762 jobs)

Top Business & Finance Analyst Employers

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Jobs From Top Business & Finance Analyst Employers

Business & Finance Analyst Videos

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

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