Do you have an interest in finance management and business investments? If so, you may choose to become a financial analyst.
In very simple words, a financial analyst is a person who handles all aspects of financial transactions and investments for an individual or a company. A financial analyst has to take investment decisions, analyse financial information and recommend whether to invest in a particular venture or stock.
Financial analysts may be hired by firms, banks, insurance companies, mutual bonds of both the private and public sector.
This field has many specialised branches. Investment banking is one such arm of finance analysis. Here, one researches the competency of companies which want to sell stock for the first time. It includes evaluating the benefits of potential mergers and takeovers. Likewise, there are other specialised profiles like securities analyst, research analyst, and equity analyst. This is a vast field with many subsidiary specialisations. So there are many opportunities for those who are keen on studying economics, mathematics, law, accountancy, business, or commerce.
How to become a financial analyst
In India, a graduate degree in business administration from a distinguished institute is required for jobs in this field. If you study any of the following subjects – economics, finance, statistics. Mathematics, financial analyst, and law – you can become a financial analyst. A master’s degree in finance or business administration is desirable if you are looking at finer pay packets. Multiple degrees are definitely useful these days. Therefore advanced courses in options pricing or bond valuation and knowledge of risk management are recommended.
One must have knowledge of corporate budgeting, financial analysis methods, accounting policies and methods. She should also be proficient in spreadsheets, Hyperion essbase and other analytical tools. Candidates must be familiar with MS Office.
Good social and interpersonal skills are also a criterion if candidates want to make a name for themselves in this field.
A Chartered Financial Analyst
Chartered Financial Analyst on the other hand is a professional certificate which is preferred by some companies. Although it adds a distinct advantage to the portfolio of CFA, the lack of a CFA degree has not stopped many from reaching the helm in the financial world. Both students and professionals can opt for this course. The course is of three years and can be done via correspondence with the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI). An entrance exam is held every year for admission to the course.
Here is a list of institutes that financial analysts and chartered financial analyst courses