Is it your dream to pursue a career in finance? Well, then it is your lucky day as today we are going to look into some of the sought after career options as finance analyst. The term “financial analyst” covers a broad segment of financial career that includes several different job titles. Nevertheless, if you think you have it in you what it takes a to be a financial analyst then you should be aware that it is one of the toughest job because as an analyst you are always expected to be on your toes. Your skills will be tested at every moment and you will be required to know about all that is happening in domestic and international financial market. Another important part of a financial analyst career is the nomadic aspect of it which means that you will be required to travel frequently as part of analysis and collection of information.
On the other hand, your career growth prospect as a financial analyst will be pivoted to the status of the economy. Nevertheless, talented finance professionals are able to bag attractive career graph as a financial analyst. It won’t be wrong to say that only sky’s the limit for the talented lot of professionals as they make their way into different business analysis profiles, such as investment banking role that offers remarkably high compensation to capable candidates. Few of the top notch financial analysts also build career in media where they provide their insights on the viability of company shares, expectation on the state of market, impact of policy changes on the economy etc. In this article, we will discuss few of the commonly preferred job titles for financial analyst and that includes risk analyst, fund manager, rating analyst and portfolio manager. Let us provide you with more details about each of the above mentioned financial analyst career paths supported by some fictitious characters.
Now, let us take the example of David who joined HSBC in the risk analyst profile that required a blend of business knowledge and current happenings in the industry. His role was to employ his analytical abilities to assist clients in the identification of their risk and then help them in mitigating the financial loss for the same. As a risk analyst he would often propose risk limitation techniques which may include portfolio diversification or forex cover etc. It is to be noted that there is a fair amount of risk involved if somebody is operating in the global market. A risk analyst inherently has the role of a counter balance who helps companies and individuals to reduce risk and make more sustainable investment. Therefore, David is often accountable for any kind of reported asset losses and he has to keep track of investment trends by gathering data and analysing them.
Now, let us take the example of Carina who has joined J.P. Morgan Chase as a fund manager. A fund manager is also referred to as mutual fund manager or hedge fund manager as their primary role is to oversee portfolio of bonds, stocks and other assets on behalf of an investor. According to Carina, she had to acquire strong understanding of the investment goal of any mutual fund in order to make the investment decision based on those goals. She said that such decision making required understanding of various financial terms like PE (price to earnings) ratios, revenue, net income, dividend payout, momentum trading and a number of other mutual fund related metrics. As a fund manager you will be buying and selling stocks and bonds, at times you will be doing that in solitary, while other times you may be a part of a team. You must know that Carina is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder.
Now, let us take the example of Timothy who has joined S&P as a rating analyst where his analytical skills are used to assess the debt servicing ability of an entity. Based on the assessments and analysis of either specific companies or entire industries, Timothy is able to recommend the credit rating to lenders. While talking Timothy we came to know that the analysis are carried out on the basis of the existing market conditions and expected changes which are factored in the financial modelling to make a well-informed recommendation about whether or not a lender should loan any fund to the entity under consideration. It can be said that a rating analyst acts as a layer of accountability in the debt market, and creates more corporate transparency and holds companies to high standard of integrity.
Now, let us take the example of Joey (not Tribbiani!!!!) who joined as a portfolio manager at Bank of Singapore. According to him, he has been working closely with other researchers and financial analysts in order to explore and analyse different potential investment opportunities. Joey had to develop very strong understanding of the trends in investment that helped him in predicting future market movement and recommending investment decisions to individuals. He enjoys the profile and says that portfolio manager is one of the most desirable career paths for many aspiring financial analysts because of the high earning potential. Nevertheless, it should be known that it is a very competitive role that can keep you at your work desk for long hours along with the inherent pressure of making decisions for someone else. If you are highly motivated and passionate about market research, then you are the ideal candidate for this profile.
So, as a candidate aspiring for a career as a financial analyst you should be aware that this career can be truly demanding and tough as what really matters is the skills and wisdom possessed by you. Beyond the above mentioned qualities, a financial analyst should also be particularly good at communication and presentation skills as the profiles involve conveying a lot of information to clients and peers through corporate presentations. If you lack these qualities, you should start and inculcate excellent communication and presentation skills. Other skills may include interpersonal skills as you have to interact with different types of customers, clients, regulating authorities, media etc. So, wishing you all the luck and hoping that this article is going to help you follow the right kind of career path as a financial analyst.