Banking & Financial Services
Financial analysts provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions.
What does a Financial Analyst do?
Financial analysts provide guidance to organisations and individuals making investment decisions. They gauge the success of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments. Financial analysts might also be called investment analysts.
As a financial analyst, you would:
- create charts and graphs, using spreadsheets, to highlight figures in technical reports
- analyse financial data for forecasting purposes and inform those making investment decisions
- interpret data on factors such as price, yield, stability, future risk and economic influences which may affect investment programs
- monitor changes or developments in economic, industrial, and corporate trends or legislation by analysing information from financial publications, investment banking firms, government agencies, trade journals, annual reports, or personal interviews
- recommend investments and investment timing to companies, investment firm staff, or clients.
Key skills and interests
To become a financial analyst, you would need:
- the ability to analyse and research information
- strong problem solving skills
- good report writing skills
- an interest in financial products and markets
- good maths and computer skills
- determination and motivation to meet targets
- discretion and a trustworthy manner
- accuracy and attention to detail.
Working hours and conditions
Financial analysts usually work full time, and many work more than 40 hours per week.
Financial analysts work in office environments. They work mainly in the financial services industry, in areas such as stockbroking, investment advisory, and financial planning.
How to become an Financial Analyst?
Entry Level Education
Most financial analyst roles require a bachelor’s degree. This could be from a range of areas including accounting, economics, finance, statistics, mathematics, and engineering.
For advanced positions, employers often require a master’s in business administration (MBA) or a master’s degree in finance. Knowledge of options pricing, bond valuation, and risk management are important.
Employment of financial analysts / investment analysts is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations.
In the stockbroking and investment advisory sectors, Investment portfolios are becoming more complex, and there are more financial products available for trade. Due to emerging markets throughout the world offering new investment opportunities there are also opportunities globally, which require expertise in geographic regions where those markets are located.
The continued implementation of financial regulatory reform in industries such as financial planning could lead to greater job opportunities, as companies need additional staff to comply with regulations and provide correct and comprehensive information and advice to clients.