William W. Jennings is Professor of Finance and Investments at the U.S. Air Force Academy Dr. Jennings is the principal finance educator—overseeing instruction to over 800 students per year—and a senior civilian management instructor. The median annual pay recorded in 2010 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was $74,350 per year, or $35.75 per hour. This is not nearly as high as the earnings for financial managers, but analysts deal with less personal responsibility. There is substantially more opportunity for financial analysts than there is for financial managers right now. Financial management is growing slowly at a rate of only 9%, but financial analyst positions are opening up at a rate of 23%. There are more and more financial products on the market these days, and geographic specialization is expected top lay a role in job growth.
Ask these questions as you update your financial analyst resume, and the result will be a svelte document that’s ready to take on the other contenders’ resumes and win the job. There are two basic types of financial analysts: sell-side analysts and buy-side analysts. Sell-side analysts assist financial institutions and other securities dealers in selling bonds, stocks and other investments. Buy-side analysts are generally employed by companies that have a lot of money to invest. Financial analysts usually focus on trends that may affect a product, industry or region.
They sometimes work for large companies with research departments that have a number of financial analysts working in very narrow categories. Financial analysts commonly use statistical software packages and spreadsheets to analyze data, develop forecasts, create portfolios and identify trends before recommending their employer or client to sell, buy or hold investments.
Depending on their field and employer, financial analyst may be required to have licensing and certification. Most financial analysts work in offices, but they may travel to visit potential investors or companies. Financial analysts spend a lot of time examining company financial statements and analyzing expenses, tax rates, sales and commodity prices, as well as meeting with company managers to learn about the business.
Computers are frequently used by financial analysts to review data and statistics that support their recommendations. The primary licensing organization for the securities industry is the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Those who change jobs will need to have their licenses renewed with their new employer. Various other licenses may be required for sell-side analysts, although buy-side analysts are less likely to need them.