A Closer Look at a Career as a Financial Analyst
Having a good set of analytical skills is something that not all people can lay claim to. It takes amazing ability to be able to gather information, analyze it, pinpoint potential problems, present solutions, and make decisions.
If you are looking into a career as a financial analyst, it will be a good time to do all what you can to enhance your analytical skills. Below are the other qualifications and information you would need to know if you want to succeed as a financial analyst.
Financial Analyst – What You Need to Know
Financial analysts’ main responsibility is to evaluate marketplace trends, demographics, and other factors to help companies or individuals make financial decisions that will lead to profit or wealth. While similar to financial advisors, financial analysts focus on studying what’s already there (such as an existing financial portfolio) and then make recommendations based on their findings.
According to PayScale.com, a financial advisor can earn an average of $41,689 to $78,525 per year with potential for bonuses, profit-sharing, and commission.
To succeed as a financial analyst, one has to have expert familiarity with how companies or individuals have invested their resources. They must also have proficient foresight on how these investments will pay off over time by determining a financial forecast, while constantly being vigilant of what needs to be done in terms of furthering the financial growth. For example, a financial analyst may be employed by a company who’s looking into franchising opportunities, and then they would have to study the market and ensure that the company will finalize a decision that would be of financial benefit to it, not a risk. Apart from exemplary analytical skills, financial analysts should also have business acumen strengths, excellent understanding of financial functions, and of course, attention to detail.
It will be a huge boost to have a bachelor’s degree in finance, business, economics, or any other related field, and it is even better to have a post-graduate degree in finance or an MBA. Certification is not necessary to be a financial analyst, but it does serve as an advantage to obtain a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
Pros and Cons
The best thing about being a financial analyst is that you get to be a key influencer in the organization you are employed in as even the high-level management turn to you for their financial decisions. This means if you do things right, you are stable and may even have a good chance of becoming a candidate for CFO.
The worst thing is that you have to deal with mountains and mountains of financial data which can be overwhelming if you are working under strict timelines.