Getting started as a financial analyst begins with earning a bachelor's degree, though advanced positions usually require a master's. The major itself doesn't necessarily matter, as financial analysts receive training from their employers. However, certain majors present an advantage, such as finance, economics, business and computer science, while others, like a liberals arts major, might make it difficult to adjust. Analysts handle a variety of work functions but one in particular stands out.
The Green Stuff
If a financial analyst's primary duty could be summed up in one word, it would be "money." A financial analyst evaluates businesses's financial profiles to summarize their solvency, growth potential and economic stability to recommend investments to clients. They study business trends and the economy, and prepare reports on their analyses of financial data. They may meet with business officials to get an understanding of their plans for the business and anticipated revenue. Everything in a financial analyst's world revolves around money.
An analyst who stays wrapped up in his own world won't be able to compete with his peers. It's essential that analysts remain up-to-date on what's going on the world of business and money. This means taking on a large reading load: newspapers, magazines, business journals and reports. Many events have a major impact on the economy, and the more a financial analyst knows, the better he'll be able to predict what will happen in the financial world.
Financial analysts have to build strong relationships with their clients. After all, it's their clients' money they're handling. Being in a position like that requires being given a great deal of trust, something that isn't easily earned over the phone. Analysts therefore spend a lot of time with clients, both during work and after hours. Attending social events and conferences not only encroaches on an analyst's personal life, but it can be quite expensive.
Analysts travel a great deal. Clients don't always live right down the street. Meeting face-to-face with them often means hopping on a plane to fly states away. Traveling may also be involved when analysts visit businesses in person to evaluate their financial records.
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