What do Financial Analysts Do?
If you find the fields of economics, finance, and business interesting, chances are you would make a good financial analyst. Workers in this field collect, interpret, and analyze financial data, and use their findings to offer advice and guidance to businesses and organizations. Analysts are commonly employed in the financial sector, but many may find work in the educational, nonprofit, and government sectors. Financial analysts can help institutions project potential growth, and improve overall financial conditions if necessary. Some analysts provide investment guidance to individuals instead of organizations.
Financial Analysts Skills and Abilities
First and foremost, analysts should have an in-depth understanding of basic financial, accounting, and economic principles. Since this field relies heavily on numerical data, courses in algebra, calculus and statistics are usually required. Many analysts will be charged with providing feedback and drafting financial plans to improve profits, so creativity and critical thinking skills are necessary. Strong interpersonal communication methods are highly beneficial to this job, since you will be expected to meet face-to-face with many individual clients and businesses. Financial analysts should also feel comfortable utilizing computer technology and programs.
Financial Analysts Duties
The primary goal of a financial analyst is to provide guidance and advice to companies regarding their financial situations. This can involve creating plans to increase a companys revenue, or simply helping a client make favorable investments. Graphs, charts, and statistics are heavily used in this field, and analysts should have the ability to construct models using complex mathematical data. Analysts interpret data on price, stability, and economic conditions, as well as their impact on the revenue of organizations. Financial analysts may also:
- Determine the prices of securities
- Work with investment bankers in an effort to attract new clients
- Present oral or written financial reports to company executives
- Consult with public officials on issues regarding financial policies
- Draft plans of financial action
- Analyze the quality of securities
Financial Analysts Tools and Technology
Financial analysts commonly employ computers and other electronic devices in order to properly perform their job. Computers are used to input, store, and organize massive amounts of financial data. More complex software programs help analysts interpret data and construct advanced mathematical models. Analysts should also be comfortable utilizing the internet and telephone to communicate with superiors, clients, and coworkers. Basic office electronics such as faxes, scanners, and printers are also employed by financial analysts.
Education and Training for Financial Analysts
This career could be the right fit for anyone hoping to earn a bachelors degree in finance or accounting. Nearly 46% of financial analysts held a bachelors degree, and another 34% held a masters degree. Becoming a financial analyst typically requires at least 4 years of undergraduate education, and sometimes 1-2 years of graduate school. Degrees in finance are common in this particular field, and many workers possess MBAs and CPAs. If you are willing to take a wide variety of courses in finance, economics, and mathematics, this may be the field for you.
Financial Analysts Salary
For many workers, financial analysis can be a lucrative field to work in. The mean annual salary for a financial analyst is $78,600, with the top 10% earning around $155,000 a year. There was a 0.8% increase in wages for this career over the last year, indicating steady growth. Analysts employed by the securities and commodities industry earned the highest wages overall.
Financial Analysts Jobs by Geography
The states with the highest levels of employment in this industry are New York, California, and Texas. New York offered financial analysts the highest wages in the country, followed closely by Washington, D.C. and California. The top paying metro area was the San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA area. Nationwide, there are currently 262,610 individuals employed in this field, and there was a 1.3% increase in employment over the last year.