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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:
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.
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.
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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Corporate Finance Analyst
Top Careers After Corporate Finance Analyst
Hispanic or Latino7.1%
Black or African American1.2%
Corporate Finance Analyst
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New York University12.1%
University of Phoenix8.6%
University of Chicago6.6%
University of Pennsylvania5.6%
University of Virginia5.6%
University of California - Berkeley4.0%
University of Houston4.0%
Southern New Hampshire University3.5%
Wayne State University3.0%
Michigan State University3.0%
University of Washington3.0%
Corporate Finance Analyst
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Corporate Analyst||American Century Investment Management, Inc.||New York, NY||Nov 07, 2016||$200,000|
|Corporate Analyst||American Century Investment Management, Inc.||New York, NY||Jun 29, 2015||$200,000|
|Corporate Financial Analyst||Aryzta, LLC.||Brea, CA||Jan 01, 2014||$195,000|
|Corporate Finance & Investment Partnership Analyst||Goodman Birtcher North America Management LLC||Irvine, CA||Jun 25, 2014||$180,000 -
|Associate, Corporate Finance||Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc.||New York, NY||Mar 17, 2016||$175,000|
|Analyst, Corporate Finance Group||Moody's Investors Service, Inc.||New York, NY||Feb 12, 2016||$153,546|
|Associate, Corporate Finance||RBC Capital Markets, LLC||New York, NY||Dec 01, 2013||$125,000 -
|Corporate Financial Analyst||Citrin Cooperman and Company, LLP||New York, NY||Aug 01, 2014||$116,000|
|Corporate Resource Allocation Financial Analyst||Monsanto Company||Saint Louis, MO||Jun 20, 2016||$114,460|
|Corporate Finance Analyst, Manager Track||General Motors Company||Detroit, MI||Aug 28, 2015||$114,204|
|Corporate Finance Analyst, Manager Track||General Motors Company||Detroit, MI||Sep 01, 2015||$104,400|
|Corporate Financial Analyst||Blue Sky Living||Wilmington, DE||Nov 16, 2015||$102,086|
|Corporate Finance Analyst, Manager Track||General Motors Company||Detroit, MI||Jun 02, 2015||$101,712|
|Corporate Finance & Strategy Analyst||Pearson Inc.||New York, NY||Oct 04, 2013||$95,014 -
|Corporate Finance Analyst||Stephens Inc.||New York, NY||Sep 21, 2014||$95,014 -
|Associate, Corporate Finance||SG Americas Securities, LLC||New York, NY||Oct 11, 2016||$93,500|
|Corporate Finance Mananger||Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc.||Malvern, PA||May 01, 2015||$92,258|
|Corporate Strategy Analyst||Designline Group, Inc.||Charlotte, NC||Jan 27, 2014||$90,000|
|Manager, Corporate Financial Analyst||Collabera Inc.||Morristown, NJ||May 15, 2014||$90,000|
|Corporate Strategy Analyst||EPV Corporation||Charlotte, NC||Apr 15, 2015||$90,000|
|Corporate Finance Analyst||RBC Capital Markets, LLC||New York, NY||Jul 15, 2014||$90,000|
|Corporate Strategy Analyst||Bal Seal Engineering, Inc.||CA||Sep 01, 2015||$73,000|
|Corporate Strategy Analyst||Bal Seal Engineering, Inc.||CA||Sep 01, 2015||$70,000|
|Corporate Analyst||Dentons Us LLP||New York, NY||Sep 21, 2016||$70,000|
|Corporate Finance Strategist||Bioxpertz LLC||Redwood City, CA||Sep 20, 2014||$70,000|
|Corporate Finance Analyst||William Blair & Company, LLC||Chicago, IL||Aug 30, 2014||$70,000|
|Corporate Financial Analyst||Grand Supercenter Inc.||Lyndhurst, NJ||Sep 03, 2014||$67,431|
|Corporate Financial Analyst||Captain Blue LLC||New York, NY||Sep 27, 2014||$67,431|
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