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How To Become a Financial Analyst

Financial analysts play a crucial role in conducting diverse research tasks aimed at shaping investment strategies and facilitating investment choices for their organization or clients. These positions heavily rely on data and demand exceptional mathematical and analytical aptitude. Financial analysts can explore employment prospects within prominent corporations like investment banks, insurance firms, and similar entities. Read more career blogs at college49.

Who is a Financial Analyst?

Financial analysts have a wide range of responsibilities pertaining to research tasks, aimed at informing investment strategies and making sound investment decisions for their company or clients. Their duties encompass activities like evaluating financial data, analyzing current events and market developments, scrutinizing an organization’s financial statements, and developing financial models to forecast future performance. Depending on their role, analysts may either monitor macroeconomic trends or focus on specific sectors and industries. These positions demand extensive handling of data and necessitate strong mathematical and analytical skills.

Due to the valuable nature of their work, financial analysts find employment opportunities in various large corporations, including investment banks, insurance companies, mutual funds, hedge funds, pension funds, securities firms, investment firms, private equity groups, venture capital firms, government agencies, and similar organizations.

What does a Financial Analyst do?

It encompasses forecasting future revenue and expenditures, which aids in determining budgets for upcoming projects. An effective job description for an Analyst should emphasize responsibilities such as conducting research and reporting on financial information, as well as monitoring financial movements within the market.

A typical Analyst job description typically includes:

  1. Analyzing current and historical financial data.
  2. Assessing the present financial performance and identifying trends.
  3. Creating reports based on the above information and effectively communicating the insights to the broader business.
  4. Collaborating with the management team to develop long-term commercial plans.
  5. Proposing budgets and recommending improvements based on the aforementioned information.
  6. Exploring various investment opportunities.
  7. Constructing financial models and providing financial forecasts.
  8. Formulating initiatives and policies that have the potential to enhance financial growth.

What Do Financial Analysts Skills Have?

Analysts rely on a variety of skills to excel in their roles:

  1. Analytical Skills: It must effectively process and evaluate a wide range of information to identify profitable investment opportunities.
  2. Communication Skills: Clear and concise communication is crucial for financial analysts to convey their recommendations to clients in a manner that is easily understandable.
  3. Computer Skills: Proficiency in utilizing software packages is essential for financial analysts to analyze financial data, identify trends, create portfolios, and make accurate forecasts.
  4. Decision-Making Skills: Analysts must make informed recommendations regarding buying, holding, or selling securities. Fund managers often face the challenge of making split-second trading decisions.
  5. Detail Orientation: Attention to detail is vital as financial analysts meticulously review potential investments, recognizing that even small details can have significant implications for the investment’s performance.
  6. Math Skills: Mathematical proficiency is necessary for financial analysts to estimate the value of financial securities and perform complex calculations.
  7. Motivated Information Seeking: Successful analysts are driven to seek out and evaluate obscure information that may have a significant impact on investment decisions. Many financial analysts work independently, requiring self-confidence in their judgment.

What is the Eligibility to Become a Financial Analyst?

To establish a career as an analyst, certain educational requirements need to be fulfilled:

Step 1: Completion of 10+2 Successful completion of 10+2 in the commerce stream with mathematics is necessary. Subjects like accounts and economics are also crucial for aspiring financial analysts.

Step 2: Entrance Examination After completing 10+2, candidates are required to appear for entrance examinations for admission to a bachelor’s degree program. Various universities and colleges admit students based on their 10+2 passing percentage. Some major entrance examinations include IPU CET, JMI EE, DUET, and JNU EE.

Step 3: Bachelor’s Degree After clearing the entrance examination, candidates should pursue a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field to become a financial analyst. Some recommended bachelor’s degrees for this career include B.Com. in Accounts and Finance, B.Com. (Honors), B.Com. in Banking and Insurance, and B.B.A.

Step 4: Post-Bachelor After completing a bachelor’s degree program, individuals have two options. Option 1 is to pursue further studies in related specializations without any gap in the academic year. Option 2 involves starting work in the industry at an entry-level position, gaining a few years of experience, and then pursuing a master’s degree in a related specialization for a career as an analyst.

What is the qualification Needed to Become a Financial Analyst?

To pursue a career as a analyst, a bachelor’s degree is typically required, although advanced positions may necessitate a master’s degree. Various fields of study can provide suitable preparation for this profession, including accounting, economics, finance, statistics, mathematics, and engineering.

How To Become a Financial Analyst
How To Become a Financial Analyst 3

What are the Different Categories of Financial Analysts?

Financial analysts can be classified into different categories based on their roles and responsibilities:

  1. Buy-Side Analysts: Buy-side analysts work within companies with substantial investment funds. They develop investment strategies for institutional investors such as mutual funds, hedge funds, insurance companies, independent money managers, and non-profit organizations with significant endowments. Their primary focus is assisting with the decision-making process of “buying investments.”
  2. Sell-Side Analysts: Sell-side analysts provide guidance and recommendations to financial services sales agents who sell various investment products like stocks, bonds, and other securities. They specialize in specific sectors or areas of expertise and play a key role in pricing and selling investments. Sell-side analysts are often associated with investment banks and contribute to the creation of analyst reports frequently seen in popular financial media.
  3. Investment Banking and Equity Analyst: An analysts working in investment banking firms are known as investment banking analysts. They play a crucial role in assessing the feasibility of deals such as initial public offerings (IPOs), mergers, and acquisitions. These analysts evaluate current financial conditions and heavily rely on forecasting and modeling techniques to make recommendations. Equity analysts, on the other hand, support banks in making buying and selling decisions, particularly when identifying beneficial IPO opportunities. A career as an equity analyst is often considered one of the highest-paying professions in the field of financial analysis.

What are the Benefits of Pursuing a Career in Financial Analysts?

Obtaining a finance degree and pursuing a career as an analyst necessitates the acquisition of specific abilities and the development of specialized skills. While prospective it may possess inherent inclinations towards analysis and organization, their studies will help guide and enhance these skills.

According to O*Net, finance students and aspiring financial analysts should cultivate the following crucial skills:

  1. Critical thinking: Making sound judgments based on logical thought processes.
  2. Time management: Effectively and productively utilizing one’s time.
  3. Research: Systematically investigating information to establish facts and draw conclusions.
  4. Analysis: Examining structures and systems to assess how they can be strengthened.
  5. Interpersonal communication: Exchanging information and understanding with others.

How To Become a Financial Analyst?

There are multiple pathways to becoming a financial analyst in India, and it is important to prepare for this career in advance.

  1. School-level preparation: Successfully complete 10+2 with commerce or science. Having subjects like mathematics or accounting in class 12th can facilitate clearing certifications.
  2. Undergraduate preparation: After completing the 12th standard, gain admission to a bachelor’s degree program. Several universities offer suitable courses such as BBA-Finance and BCom, which are relevant for becoming a financial analyst. Admission is usually based on the percentage secured in class 12th.
  3. Postgraduate preparation: After completing BBA/B.Com, you can start preparing for a postgraduate degree like MBA/M.Com, which can lead to higher salary packages. MBA programs typically last for 24 months and are offered by various universities. You can choose specializations such as finance, retail management, marketing, etc. Alternatively, you may choose to work in the finance industry for a few years after graduation and then pursue a master’s degree in a relevant specialization.
  4. Work experience: If you are already a working professional, having 1-2 years of experience in any finance-related field is beneficial for becoming a financial analyst.
  5. Gain relevant certifications: Obtaining certifications in financial analysis can enhance your skills and employability as a financial analyst in India.

1. What skills are important for a financial analyst?

Financial analysts should have strong analytical and mathematical skills, proficiency in financial analysis software, excellent communication and presentation abilities, attention to detail, and the ability to make informed decisions based on complex data.

2. Where do financial analysts work?

Financial analysts can work in various industries, including investment banks, commercial banks, asset management firms, insurance companies, consulting firms, and corporations with finance departments.

3. What does a financial analyst do?

A financial analyst is responsible for researching and analyzing financial data, evaluating investment opportunities, preparing financial reports, and providing recommendations to clients or management.

4. What qualifications do I need to become a financial analyst?

Typically, a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, accounting, or a related field is required. Some positions may also require a master’s degree, professional certifications, or relevant work experience.

5. What is the career outlook for financial analysts?

The career outlook for financial analysts is generally positive, with steady job growth expected in the coming years. The demand for financial analysts is driven by the need for data-driven decision-making and investment advice.

6. How much does a financial analyst earn?

The salary of a financial analyst can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, industry, and the size of the company. On average, financial analysts earn a competitive salary with opportunities for growth and bonuses.

7. What are the main challenges faced by financial analysts?

Financial analysts often face challenges such as market volatility, complex financial data, time constraints, meeting client expectations, and staying updated with changing regulations and industry trends.