Financial analysts make investment recommendations and decisions for their employers or for individuals after assessing the performance of stocks, bonds and other investments. Rating analysts will evaluate how governments and companies can pay bonds and other debts. Financial analysts will concentrate on trends that impact a specific region, industry or type of product. Financial analysts must take into account any new policies, regulations or political and economic trends that may impact a particular investment. Spreadsheets and statistical software packages are used by financial analysts to analyze financial data and trends as well as create portfolios and develop forecasts. Financial analysts usually work in offices while occasionally working long hours and traveling frequently to visit investors and companies.
Since most of a financial analyst’s day is spent in meetings and on the phone, most are required to do their research after office hours. Many companies require financial analysts to have a bachelor’s degree in finance , accounting , statistics , business or economics Financial analysts should also have a thorough understanding of accounting policies and procedures, financial analysis methods, and corporate budgeting.
Financial analysts are usually not expected to obtain a license before employment since many licenses require sponsorship from an employer. Important qualifications for financial analysts are good communication skills, self-confidence, maturity, and the ability to work independently. Financial analysts must also have strong skills in math, problem solving and analytics. Many companies are assigning financial analysts to foreign markets due to the increasing global diversification of investments. Many employers recommend financial analysts to receive a certificate known as the Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) designation.
Companies such as these prefer their financial analysts to have international experience such as understanding the language, environment and culture of the country. Subjects covered on the tests can include economics, accounting, financial markets, corporate finance, asset valuation, and portfolio management. Advancement for financial analysts involves moving to positions where they are responsible for more important or larger products. Many financial analysts work in New York City as well as other financial centers.
Employment for financial analysts will increase due to the level of investment increases. This increase will require companies to hire financial analysts to recommend as well as research investments. Financial analysts will also be needed to cover the global range of investment options as international investments increase. New positions will be created for financial analysts as financial services grow.