What is a Financial Analyst?

Financial AnalystMany people looking into business and financial jobs hear about financial analyst positions, but many often have the same question: what is a financial analyst, and what do they do? Some might wonder, also, if they’re qualified with their current credentials to get a job as a financial analyst, or if they need to go back to school. With our world’s economy in such a fragile state, and with every business move becoming more and more crucial, financial analysts are in an increasingly high demand.

What is Financial Analyst?

A financial analyst is someone who is able to help guide a person or business in their investment opportunities and actions, according to US News and World Report. It’s an investment analyst’s job to stay on top of all the latest news and trends in the business world, and relay that information to those for which they work. By preparing data and reports they’ll deliver or present to a business or individual, a financial analyst provides a vital advising service for those trying to navigate the clustered and complicated world of business investment options.

What Specific Types of Things Does a Financial Analyst Do?

When it comes to the exact nature of a financial analyst’s job, a lot of what they do will be very heavily dependent upon who they’re working for. A business analyst working for a CEO or corporation might have a job description that requires them to prepare a weekly report on the sales and marketing trends that have been successful in selling the company’s and their competitor’s products. They might be in charge of consolidating and delivering data on the company’s stock sales rates. If the company they’re working for is a financial company, they may collaborate with other financial experts to help discuss and deliver this information. Other financial analysts may work for individual clients as a resource for information on stock and personal investments, guiding them through the best times to buy and sell various shares.

What is the Salary of a Financial Analyst?

Most financial analysts receive rather generous paychecks for their services. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income as of 2012 is roughly $77,000 and the field’s job opportunities expected to grow over the next decade. This makes it easy to see why many are interested in learning more about what a financial analyst is and how they might become one. One thing to remember is that financial analysts work very long, hard hours for their salary. Most financial analysts work more than 40 hours a week, with some claiming up to 70+ hours a week. But for those who are willing to put in the work, this can be a very lucrative and rewarding career.

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What Type of Degree does a Financial Analyst Need?

As the name and job description might suggest, a Bachelor’s degree in business or finance is a baseline requirement for any financial analyst to hold. However, those who want to land the best, highest paying, most stable jobs in the field should consider pursuing a Master’s degree, and/or taking additional financial analysis classes to maintain and expand their skill set.

With a fragile job market and economy, financial analysts are becoming more and more important for the success of any company. With the job field expected to grow in both size and relevance, a financial analyst is a great career path for many.