As a general rule the financial analyst sometimes called securities or investment analysts study financial information that will allow them to make sound suggestions to businesses and individuals on how to invest their money. The education and training level they have to accede to it is at least a Bachelors degree in college, and even better an advance business degree such as an MBA. In this profession you can expect a median salary in the range of $65,000 per year with a good employment outlook.
As a financial analyst you will make use of statistical software and spreadsheets to analyze the data that you have gathered. Financial analysts work in such places as banks, corporations, stock brokerages, insurance companies as well as government agencies. And here they analysts will work worldwide studying national money matters.
Other analysts will work with corporations or other organizations on laying out the different ways they can invest their pension funds. They also have analysts that specialize in finding out the value of securities, like stocks and bonds.
Some financial analysts that work for stockbrokers use their research findings that they pass on to the securities brokers. Here their role is to help brokers and their customers find and help them decide when they should be bought or sold.
Many of these analysts specialize in researching securities of companies better in one industry. In doing their job they look at all the factors found in a particular industry that influence the market price of a company stocks. Other factors that take into consideration is the study of new products, stock market prices or other industrial trends that will affect the value of the company. I also study a company’s financial strength and weakness as compared to other companies in the industry. Sometimes the analyst will visit the companies they are seeking information about to interview the management to determine how efficiently the company is operating compared to other companies in the same industry. Many times the job has the look of fortuneteller or soothsayer because the financial analyst job also includes predicting the future of earnings or stock prices.
It is imperative that a financial analyst have a college education with at least a bachelor's degree with heavy emphasis on accounting, business, economics, finance, accounting, mathematics and the law. A good foundation for this work is undergraduate courses in all of the above fields. A plus factor is having an advanced degree such as one as a master of business administration, MBA.
The chartered financial analyst(CFA) Institute offers a certification program to people who have at least a bachelor's degree along with three years of experience working in the financial industry. To get a certified financial analyst certificate applicant must pass a series of three different exams covering such fields as accounting, economics, securities analysis, and portfolio management. Although this certificate is not required to become a financial analyst it does help.