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Become A Finance Analyst

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Working As A 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

  • $63,000

    Average Salary

What Does A 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 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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Finance Analyst jobs

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Finance Analyst Career Paths

Finance Analyst
Finance Manager Sales Manager Office Manager
Accounting Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Human Resources Coordinator Controller
Accounting Officer
7 Yearsyrs
Controller Chief Finance Officer
Chief Finance And Operating Officer
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Associate Senior Accountant Accounting Manager
Corporate Accounting Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Finance Manager Controller
Corporate Controller
12 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Business Manager Controller
Director Of Accounting & Finance
11 Yearsyrs
Assistant Vice President Office Manager Accounting Manager
Division Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Accounting Manager Controller
Finance Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Finance Analyst
Finance Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Business Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Finance Planning Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Assistant Vice President Human Resources Coordinator Controller
Finance Vice President
9 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Business Manager Controller
Interim Controller
15 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Manager Finance Planning And Analysis
8 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Manager, Finance Analysis
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Analyst Senior Finance Analyst Accounting Manager
Plant Controller
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Finance Analyst Accounting Manager Controller
Regional Controller
10 Yearsyrs
Assistant Controller Accounting Consultant Accounting Manager
Reporting Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Finance Specialist Accountant Accounting Manager
Senior Accounting Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Controller Finance Director
Senior Director Of Finance
14 Yearsyrs
Accounting Manager Finance Manager
Senior Finance Manager
11 Yearsyrs
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Finance Analyst Demographics

Gender

  • Male

    53.1%
  • Female

    42.8%
  • Unknown

    4.2%

Ethnicity

  • White

    71.1%
  • Asian

    14.9%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    9.9%
  • Unknown

    2.8%
  • Black or African American

    1.2%
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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

    33.5%
  • French

    11.2%
  • Mandarin

    10.8%
  • Chinese

    10.1%
  • German

    4.5%
  • Russian

    3.9%
  • Cantonese

    3.4%
  • Portuguese

    3.4%
  • Italian

    3.1%
  • Hindi

    3.0%
  • Arabic

    2.6%
  • Japanese

    2.5%
  • Korean

    2.2%
  • Urdu

    1.1%
  • Gujarati

    1.0%
  • Polish

    0.9%
  • Vietnamese

    0.9%
  • Greek

    0.7%
  • Turkish

    0.7%
  • Hebrew

    0.7%
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Finance Analyst

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Finance Analyst Education

Finance Analyst

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Real Finance Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Financial Analyst Otter Media Holdings, LLC Santa Monica, CA Aug 22, 2015 $300,000
Financial Analyst Federal Reserve Bank of New York New York, NY Jan 12, 2015 $260,000
Financial Analyst Glencore Ltd. Stamford, CT Sep 15, 2015 $250,000
Financial Analyst Tiger Veda Management, LLC New York, NY Feb 10, 2016 $225,000
Financial Analyst Coltrane Asset Management LP New York, NY Oct 09, 2016 $225,000
Financial Analyst Littlejohn & Co. LLC Greenwich, CT May 01, 2015 $220,000
Financial Analyst Bruce S. Brickman &Amp; Associates, Inc. New York, NY Feb 15, 2016 $205,000
Financial Analyst Investment Placement Group San Diego, CA Sep 30, 2015 $200,000
Financial Analyst Consulta USA Inc. New York, NY Oct 02, 2015 $200,000
Financial Analyst Bronson Point Management LLC Fairfield, CT Apr 02, 2015 $200,000
Financial Analyst Fir Tree Partners Inc. New York, NY Sep 02, 2015 $200,000
Financial Analyst Blazeridge, LLC New York, NY May 30, 2016 $200,000
Financial Analyst Sanoor Capital Management LP Greenwich, CT Dec 21, 2015 $200,000
Financial Analyst Gotham Consulting Partners LLC New York, NY Feb 05, 2016 $180,000
Financial Analyst East West Bank Pasadena, CA Dec 23, 2016 $78,915
Financial Analyst A&J Capital Investment, Inc. Alhambra, CA Mar 11, 2016 $78,874
Financial Analyst Summit Mortgage Bankers, Inc. Alhambra, CA Aug 17, 2016 $78,874
Financial Analyst Corban Group Services, LLC Norwalk, CA Jun 17, 2016 $78,874
Financial Analyst Victoria Financial Corp. San Gabriel, CA Mar 23, 2016 $78,874
Financial Analyst Legalzoom Glendale, CA Aug 31, 2016 $78,874
Financial Analyst Tongfang Global Inc. Diamond Bar, CA Dec 27, 2016 $78,874
Financial Analyst King Hood Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jan 09, 2016 $78,874
Financial Analyst BRC Real Estate Corporation Highlands Ranch, CO Aug 11, 2015 $65,166
Financial Analyst 48 Factoring Wayne, PA Mar 28, 2016 $65,166
Financial Analyst Geo Investing LLC Skippack, PA Mar 25, 2016 $65,166
Financial Analyst Ibidsmart Inc. Trevose, PA Feb 29, 2016 $65,166
Financial Analyst U.S. Bank National Association Bloomington, MN Jul 09, 2016 $65,100
Financial Analyst It America Inc. Carson City, NV Aug 25, 2015 $65,100
Financial Analyst Portocork America, Inc. Napa, CA Aug 16, 2016 $65,062
Financial Analyst II Rackspace Us, Inc. San Antonio, TX Oct 01, 2015 $65,000

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Top Skills for A Finance Analyst

MonthlyFinancialStatementsAssetFinancialAnalysisGeneralLedgerAccountsExternalAuditorsMonthlyJournalEntriesVarianceAnalysisBalanceSheetAccountsA/PIncomeStatementAnnualBudgetFinancialDataBusinessUnitsPayrollFinancialModelsAccountReconciliationsFinancialPerformanceLossERPFinancialInformation

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Top Finance Analyst Skills

  1. Monthly Financial Statements
  2. Asset
  3. Financial Analysis
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prepare monthly financial statements and perform monthly data upload to the company's databases.
  • Supervised financial activities at Wealth and Assets Management of line of business (LOB).
  • Provided financial analysis on major supplier contract negotiations, maximizing volume rebate and performance incentives.
  • Researched general ledger accounts to identify discrepancies between auditing reports and other internal and external records.
  • Build continuous relationships with external auditors, government officials, as well as internal partners on ongoing projects and assignments.

Top Finance Analyst Employers

Finance Analyst Videos

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

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