Financial analysts, also known as securities analysts or investment analysts, provide economic evaluation and fiscal guidance to organizations such as banking institutions and insurance companies.
The successful financial analyst will possess a thorough understanding of such basic economic topics as corporate finance, balance sheets, income statements, cash flow, capital budgeting, profit and loss, the time value of money, and mergers and acquisitions. An understanding of capital markets is a valuable bonus. Do you have what it takes?
A financial analyst position requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, but an MBA is often preferred. The following online degrees can help you advance your career options while working a full-time job.
The primary function of the financial analyst is to research, analyze and assess the economic performance, value and earning potential of companies and industries so wise investment decisions can be made. By specializing in a particular industry, financial analysts can closely monitor industry trends, products, value and competition.
Some of the daily job duties of a financial analyst include the following:
Sound financial judgment and good communications skills are critical, as is knowledge of computers and appropriate financial software applications.
Employment prospects for financial analysts should continue to be strong in the banking industry, which employs the greatest number of financial analysts and managers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for financial analysts was approximately $66,590 in 2006, with a range running from less than $40,340 to a high of over $130,130. Performance-based bonuses, which are common in this field, have the potential to significantly increase these salaries.