Most analysts work for brokerage houses, banking or credit institutions, or insurance brokerages. In addition, analysts research whole industries, evaluating business strategies, product trends, and market competition. In order to correctly interpret a company’s success and value, analysts must also be familiar with and understand the market effect of industrial regulations and policy changes. Using statistical software and spreadsheets, financial analysts evaluate data, identify patterns, and formulate predictions used to make recommendations about selling or buying various investment and securities products.
Analysts with asset management responsibilities often make purchasing and selling decisions for their clients. Some companies have investment banking divisions with teams of analysts dedicated to researching companies interested in making initial public offerings. Financial analysts are also responsible for researching the pros and cons of possible company mergers and buyouts.
Ratings analysts assess the capacity of bond issuing company’s (or governments) to fulfill loan obligations. Personal Financial Advisors (sometimes referred to as financial consultants or financial planners) combine their experience and understanding of tax laws, insurance, and investments to help clients accomplish their short and long range financial objectives. Advisors start by sitting down with a client looking at their financial situation to help them identify financial goals.
From this information an advisor creates a financial plan for the client that addresses problems and suggests ways to fix them, and then Identifies possible investment ideas that best meet the needs of the client. In addition, advisors respond to questions about the impact of life changes and benefit plans on their financial situation. The most essential skill a financial advisor can have is the ability to attract and keep customers. A bachelor’s degree is essential for financial analysts and highly recommended for personal financial advisors. Analysts should probably have a degree in business administration, accounting, finance, or statistics.
While there is not a particular emphasis of study preferred for personal financial advisors, a degree in economics, law, business, accounting, finance, or mathematics offers a good footing for the position. Still, a large number of advisors begin in other associated fields like insurance sales, law, financial services brokerage, auditing, and accounting.