You are here because you’re probably thinking about applying for the CFA course. Or maybe you’ve just registered. Excellent choice. The program is a highly efficient and productive course that will educate and train you in the various departments within the investment banking industry. However, the aforementioned industry has different profiles within it that carry out a host of functions. There are different professional roles you can take on once you finish your CFA certification. People who are successful in investment banking often pick the right kind of advisory services that suits their talent, skills and personality. When you chose wisely, you are in a fortunate position. You get to enjoy a high-paying job, receive numerous rewarding opportunities and be instrumental in the accumulation of new capital and wealth.
So, the time to decide is now. No pressure. Simply scroll down through the adequately described job designations within the investment services domain. Once you have a clearer idea of what each position entails, you can make the right choice.
Career profile: Portfolio Management
As a portfolio manager, you are in charge of curating and managing a selection of investments that help a client or a company reach its financial targets. The responsibilities include:
- Crafting a strategy to buy stocks, bonds and assets at the right time
- Weighing the risks involved while analyzing market trends
- Consulting with clients to create a financial plan
- Creating reports on the progress and efficacy of the investments
- Collaborating with research teams to determine investment possibilities
- Analytic thinking
- Problem-solving ability
- Good communication skills
- Knowledge of risk management and economic trends
- Awareness of financial regulations
- CFA certification or a degree in finance
You get to work with different types of financial services such as banks, insurance companies, wealth management firms and hedge funds.
Career profile: Investment banking
As an investment banker, you will work closely with companies to help them raise capital or go public by listing shares on the IPO. Your responsibilities will include:
- Raising funds for various organizations through several means such as debt or equity
- Analyzing financial data to create a valuation
- Assessing the performance of stocks and bonds
- Educating and convincing clients about their investment options
- Being a key player in mergers and acquisitions
- Finding and retaining new potential clients
- Selling assets and securities to generate funds
- Knowledge of quantitative methods
- Adept at working under pressure
- Good networking skills
- Persuasive abilities
- Strategic thinking
- A finance degree, an MBA or a CFA qualification is needed
You can work with any company that needs to raise capital, from new businesses and multi-national corporations to even government organizations.
Career profile: Asset management
Your role will involve handling the assets of individuals or companies and finding ways to create long-term investment opportunities. Your responsibilities are:
- Analyzing and evaluating the client’s assets and securities
- Studying the market and making informed decisions about mutual funds, bonds, equities, real estate or commodities
- Managing multiple clients in a high-pressure environment
- Business acumen
- Analytic skills
- Well versed in financial and statistical modeling
- Deep understanding of the financial market
- Working knowledge of maths and finance
- Maintaining good relationships with clients
- Bachelor’s degree but CFA or CPA is preferred
You can work with banks, real estate development firms, charities or hedge funds.
Career profile: Private wealth management
A private wealth manager has clients who are high-profile individuals or families looking for personalized investment management. It will be your job to help them navigate through the intricacies of the financial markets to make long-term investments, in accordance with their needs. Along with:
- Managing their portfolios
- Looking after their assets
- Creating a plan for retirement or other long-term goals
- Filing investment-related taxes
- Working closely and maintaining a good relationship with the client
- Intensive knowledge of financial planning
- Excellent communication skills
- Good quantitive and technological skills
- Strong expertise in all the latest financial products
- Problem-solving abilities
- Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in finance, MBA degree or a CFA certification
You are likely to get hired by investment banks, wealth management firms and financial advisory services with high net-worth clientele.
Career profile: Financial risk analyst
Your task is to assess the financial implications of any investment decision and to eliminate or minimize any risks that may arise. The role requires:
- Compiling data and evaluating it for financial risks
- Sharing insights with the company using reports and presentations
- Creating plans that contain precautionary measures aimed at reducing negative outcomes caused by natural or operational hazards
- Making recommendations on safer investment opportunities
- Strategic and critical thinking
- Attention to detail
- A working understanding of business markets
- Skills in numeracy and statistics
- Knowledge of using the RIMS platform (risk information management software)
- Background in maths, finance, engineering or a CFA course
You can get hired by insurance companies, investment banks, hedge fund firms and any organization that deals with large amounts of money.
Career profile: Equity research analyst
The job: You provide detailed, objective research reports on the financial markets to companies and firms looking to buy or sell investments. Your duties include:
- Analyzing financial data to recommend worthy investments
- Presenting research-based findings to companies and other concerned parties
- Keeping track of new developments and trends in the market
- Good presentation skills
- Advance knowledge of Microsoft Excel and other data collection software
- Sharp researching abilities
- Excellent understanding of financial modeling, research methods, asset allocation, etc.
- Analytical thinking
- A degree in finance or economics, although a CFA qualification is also preferred
You can work with research firms, investment advisory firms, asset management companies and any financial organization looking to invest. A research analyst can move on to become a portfolio manager.
Career profile: Corporate Financial Analyst
A company will hire you to help them make critical business decisions based on the financial data available. Some of the important responsibilities are:
- Analyzing the company performance and finding ways to improve it by using financial data
- Creating reports and presentations about the company’s financial condition and how to minimize risks and raise funds
- Recommending ways to improve profits
- Being aware of any market changes or fluctuations
- Making projections about the future
- Working knowledge about financial modeling and Microsoft Excel
- Critical thinking
- Decision-making skills
- Attention to detail
- Bachelor’s in finance, accounting or a CFA certification
You can work with financial firms, the big 4 firms, insurance companies or other major organizations.
Once you clear the CFA exam, you are ready to join the investment industry. Now that you have a clearer idea of the entire realm of investment advisory services, you’re in a position to make an informed decision. Which job appeals to you? Which one has the most growth? Where do your strengths lie? Once you’ve got your answers, you can begin your journey into the financial world.
Find the CFA classes nearest to you here.