financial analyst

What does a Financial Analyst do?

A financial analyst analyzes trends and predictions of financial changes for corporations, businesses, or individuals. They constantly assess bonds, stocks, and other investment options that may affect their client’s finances. They will also project a company’s revenue and expenses and advise the company on financial needs and budgets.

Watch a video to learn what a financial analyst does.

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How to Become a Financial Analyst

financial analyst

Financial analysts are usually required to have a bachelor’s degree that involves courses in economics, accounting, statistics, math, engineering, and finance. Employers may also require a master’s degree in finance or business administration (MBA).

Education in risk management, options pricing, and bond validation is often necessary. After employment, employers have the employee licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). You can become certified if you hold a bachelor’s degree, 4 years experience, and pass 3 exams from a CFA institute. This would help with advancement and promotion in a company.

Job Description of a Financial Analyst

A financial analyst finds profitable investments by analyzing information on stocks, bonds, and other investments for businesses or individuals. They evaluate historical and current data and remain current in business and economic trends. They also prepare reports for the business or individual that illustrates their recommendations.

Financial Analyst Career Video Transcript

Investing has become more complex than ever. There are literally thousands of stocks, bonds and funds to choose from. That’s why advice from Financial Analysts is in great demand. They do the research that helps investors make decisions. The analyst examines a company’s financial records, its projections, even its competitors to get a handle on whether it’s a smart investment…or a risky one.

While analysts may travel to visit companies they’re analyzing, for a first-hand look, much of the work is done from an office desk, using computers and phones. Based on their research, they make recommendations to their clients. Some analysts advise banks, insurance companies and other large investment groups. Other analysts are employed by firms that handle investments for individuals. In either case, the requirements are the same: you need strong math and analytical skills, as well as keen business savvy.

A college education is usually a must. To move ahead in the field, a financial analyst might seek an advanced degree in business, and certification as a Chartered Financial Analyst. More and more organizations and individuals are turning to investing to increase the return on their money. That means the job outlook for financial analysts is becoming increasingly “bullish.”

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Financial Analyst.

National Center for O*NET Development. 13-2051.00. O*NET OnLine.