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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 Finance Planning Analyst
Top Careers After Finance Planning Analyst
Hispanic or Latino11.7%
Black or African American0.6%
Finance Planning Analyst
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University of Phoenix8.3%
University of Southern California8.3%
University of Connecticut5.5%
University of Illinois at Chicago5.5%
Georgia State University5.5%
University of Texas at Austin5.5%
University of Houston5.5%
Sacred Heart University4.6%
Ohio State University4.6%
University of Miami4.6%
University of Denver4.6%
University of Maryland - University College3.7%
Ohio University -3.7%
Arizona State University3.7%
Central Connecticut State University3.7%
University of Washington3.7%
University of Wisconsin Extension3.7%
University of California - San Diego3.7%
Finance Planning Analyst
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Financial Planning Analyst||CIM Group, LP||Los Angeles, CA||Jun 29, 2015||$137,500|
|Enterpr Financial Planning & REP Analyst/Finance Proj MGR||Agilent Technologies, Inc.||Santa Clara, CA||Aug 03, 2015||$129,468|
|Financial Planning & Analysis Analyst||JVL Ventures LLC||Dallas, TX||Sep 03, 2012||$125,000|
|Financial Planning and Analyst||Sway Management LLC||Oakland, CA||Dec 10, 2014||$108,000|
|Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) Analyst||TYCO Electronics Corporation||Berwyn, PA||Nov 07, 2014||$101,500|
|Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) Analyst||TYCO Electronics Corporation||Berwyn, PA||Nov 07, 2016||$100,750|
|Financial Planning & Analysis, Eliquis US||Bristol-Myers Squibb Company||Plainsboro, NJ||Jan 04, 2016||$100,256|
|Financial Planning and Analysis Analyst||TYCO Electronics Corporation||Berwyn, PA||Sep 14, 2012||$100,000|
|Financial Planning Analyst||Reval.Com, Inc.||New York, NY||May 23, 2011||$100,000|
|Analyst-Financial Planning and Analysis||Netflix, Inc.||Los Gatos, CA||Jul 25, 2011||$100,000 -
|Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) Analyst||TYCO Electronics Corporation, A Te Connectivity Ltd. Company||Berwyn, PA||Sep 14, 2015||$98,000 -
|Financial Planning & Operations Senior Analyst||Financial Engines, Inc.||Sunnyvale, CA||Jan 09, 2016||$97,632|
|Financial Planning & Analyst Leader||Gast Manufacturing, Inc., A Unit of IDEX Corp.||Benton Harbor, MI||May 13, 2013||$96,600|
|Global Financial Planning & Analyst||Tai Ping Carpets Americas, Inc.||New York, NY||Mar 01, 2013||$74,620|
|Global Financial Planning & Analyst||Tai Ping Carpets America Inc.||New York, NY||Dec 01, 2013||$74,620|
|Global Financial Planning & Analyst||Tai Ping Carpets America Inc.||Calhoun, GA||Jul 10, 2014||$74,620|
|Group Financial Planning Analyst||Tai Ping Carpets Americas Inc.||New York, NY||May 12, 2015||$74,620|
|Financial Planning Analyst||SCA Americas Inc.||Philadelphia, PA||Sep 18, 2012||$72,735|
|Financial Planning Analyst||Monster Cable Products, Inc.||Brisbane, CA||Aug 29, 2011||$71,028 -
|Financial Planning Analyst||JTS, LLC||NY||Sep 30, 2011||$70,500|
|Analyst, Financial Planning and Analysis||Real Alloy Recycling, Inc.||Beachwood, OH||Sep 03, 2015||$63,773 -
|Analyst, Financial Planning and Analysis||Aecom Technical Services, Inc.||New York, NY||Sep 27, 2012||$62,566 -
|Financial Planning Analyst||Robert Miani||Pleasant Hill, CA||Jun 22, 2015||$62,500|
|Financial Planning Analyst||Robert Miani||Pleasant Hill, CA||Jun 15, 2015||$62,500|
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A Day in the Life of a Financial Advisor - Funny or Truth