Whenever we talk about CFA, the things that come to our mind are career opportunities in Investment Banking, Equity Research, Private Equity etc. But are the options after CFA limited to just these? No. Fortunately, we are living in a dynamic world where industry or technological changes pave way for new prospects every minute. Today, many students are exploring various unconventional profiles after CFA and they are also finding success. While some switch to more fulfilling yet offbeat roles after gaining considerable experience in the corporate world, others take the plunge right after completion of their final level. Let us take a look at few of these profiles and know what it takes to get there.
The global currency market is indeed intriguing. Forex Analysts are also called Currency researchers or Currency strategists. These professionals typically use technical, fundamental and other quantitative methods to analyse the pattern of currency movement. Mostly they present their research through market commentary or intraday calls and help retail as well as institutional investors to hedge their risk in the currency markets. Forex markets are quite volatile so the analysts need to be very quick with their observations. A thorough grasp of a world economy and expertise with numbers is mandatory to become a skilled forex analyst. Knowledge of international market is imparted right from CFA level 1, hence they are one of the most sought-after professionals as forex analysts.
This profession is typically for those who have considerable experience in the real investment banking world but do not want to take it further. They take an offbeat road and choose to impart the knowledge in a more interactive way. They not only stick to the text study like conventional lecturers but also share the wisdom gained through their rich experience. Some of the experienced charter holders have started their own training institutes exclusively for the CFA curriculum, while some have joined as faculty in renowned education institutes.
The start-up bug has bitten most millennials. Nowadays many CFAs are treading a risky path and using their experience in corporate jobs to create companies that are bridging major gaps in the financial services industry. Leaving their plush jobs in the Investment Banking industry, these charter holders aim to create a difference in the world of finance. While some are offering insurance service with a difference, some are bridging the gap in microfinance, while others are mobilizing technology innovatively in creating payment and credit platform. CFAs are trained to analyse the situation beforehand, identify potential obstacles and opportunities and take calculated risks, which is a crucial quality for entrepreneurs.
Some of the examples of companies started by CFA charter holders after their brief stint in the corporate world:
Not everyone loves to work with numbers, some CFAs are gifted with the talent of words. These professionals are more inclined towards qualitative analysis and write in-depth articles, reports and whitepapers supported by their unique analysis. Usually, these professionals foray into financial or investment writing after considerable experience in the corporate world. Many charter holders have started dedicated blogs to investment advice or investor education. There is a lot of knowledge gap as far as financial education is concerned, hence many CFAs these days are starting their own blogs and periodicals to share their expertise and knowledge. Seasoned financial writers can also author books on unique topics in finance and carve a niche for themselves. Not only this, many asset management companies or stockbroking firms also employ Financial writers at lucrative pay packages.
Fintech (Financial Technology) is the latest buzzword in India as these companies are flourishing in a run to capture the unlimited power of technology in finance. The hottest jobs in the field of finance today is in Fintech. Master Card, American Express and Barclays are some of the companies offering plum jobs to CFAs who possess expertise in Big Data. Other companies offering such jobs in India is Llyods Bank and Rabobank. This is the era of Bitcoins, Blockchains and Robo-advisers which has very well been recognized by the CFA Institute. The institute plans to include Big Data as a part of its curriculum in 2019. After this, there would be more demand for CFAs in the Fintech firms, both established and startup ventures.
Business Research/ Consulting
It is difficult for businesses to survive on their own always. Many times it faces problems or situations which can be resolved only with the help of advice backed by rich experience and domain expertise. This is where consulting steps in. Whether it is a new product launch, entry into a new market, expanding the customer base or setting up a new business altogether, companies have always approached Consultants. Business research or consulting is an immensely popular profile wherein CFAs are in huge demand. Their precise market sizing skills, ability to strategize well, conduct risk-benefit analysis, and overall strong business acumen makes them highly seasoned consultants.
KPMG, EY, PWC as well as KPOs like Aranca, Axience, Grail Research, Amba Research etc. regularly employ CFAs for their consulting roles
Taking the road less travelled
The above-mentioned roles were just a part of the indicative list. There are many more roles that demand the sharp skills of CFAs. Treading the offbeat path is often risky but the reward is worth the risk. So explore the job market thoroughly, you never know which latent profile manifests itself as a next big challenging role for CFA charter holders in future. If you want to unravel a gratifying future after CFA, get trained with IMS Proschool, the official training partner of CFA Institute.