Financial Analyst: Career Guide And Salary

The financial services industry is competitive and it can be tough to break into the field. If you’re interested in a career as a financial analyst, read on to find out what you can do to prepare yourself for the job.

What Is a Financial Analyst?

Financial analysts examine financial data and use their findings to help companies make business decisions. Often, their analysis is meant to inform the investing decisions of companies.

Financial analysts research macroeconomic and microeconomic conditions along with company fundamentals to make predictions about businesses, sectors, and industries. They also often recommend a course of action, such as buying or selling a company’s stock based upon its overall performance and outlook.

An analyst must be aware of current developments in the field in which they specialize, as well as in preparing financial models to predict future economic conditions for any number of variables.

Not all financial analysts analyze the stock or bond markets or help their employers make investments. Companies may also hire an analyst to use numerical data to pinpoint the efficacy of various marketing techniques relative to cost. Businesses that utilize the franchise model often have financial analysts who are responsible for tracking individual franchises or groups of franchises within a geographic region. The analysts determine where the strengths and weaknesses lie and make profit and loss forecasts.

Job Description – Basic Qualifications

1. 0-3+ years of business finance or other relevant experience

2. High proficiency in financial modeling techniques

3. Strong fluency with Excel formulas and functions

4. BA, BS, or B.Com degree required (Bachelor’s Degree in

5. Accounting/Finance/Economics)

6. Strong analytical and data gathering skills

7. Good business acumen

Job Description – Preferred Qualifications

1. 3-5+ years of business finance or other relevant experience

2. MBAs are preferred

3. Finance, Accounting, Economics, or Statistics are preferred major fields

4. Proven work experience in a quantitatively-heavy role

5. FMVA or similar designations preferred

6. Strong quantitative and analytical competency

7. Self-starter with excellent interpersonal communication and problem-solving skills

8. Advanced knowledge of Excel

Job Description – Personality and Interpersonal Skills

1. Ability to streamline functions and passion to learn and grow

2. Strong interpersonal skills, including written and oral communication skills

3. Comfort dealing with ambiguity and the ability to work independently

4. Experience working with, and presenting to, senior executives

5. Excellent communication and presentation skills; be comfortable interacting with executive-level management

6. Strong financial modeling experience

Work Environment for Financial Analysts

The largest employers of financial analysts are as follows:

Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities18%
Credit intermediation and related activities15%
Professional, scientific, and technical services12%
Management of companies and enterprises11%
Insurance carriers and related activities6%

Financial analysts work primarily in offices but travel frequently to visit companies or clients.

Financial Analyst Salaries

The median annual wages for financial analysts in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities$101,410
Professional, scientific, and technical services$84,540
Management of companies and enterprises$83,640
Credit intermediation and related activities$81,420
Insurance carriers and related activities$78,870

Fund managers are typically compensated by fees, usually structured as a percentage of assets under management and a percentage of the fund’s annual return.

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