You like money. You like making money. You like using other people’s money so you can make more money. You like momos. If three out of those four statements got you excited, then tada! Being a financial analyst is the job for you, says Nathaniel D’Costa
WHAT DOES AN ANALYST DO?
Well, the job title itself is quite self-explanatory. You will analyse financial information and make reports. Financial analysts also help people decide how to invest their money. All those mutual fund ads that keep interrupting your favourite TV show? A financial analyst works on those funds. Some financial analysts work in banks, some work in insurance companies, others work for mutual funds, and still, others work as personal financial advisors. A financial analyst researches economic conditions along with company details to make recommendations to clients. Especially early on, you’ll spend a lot of time working on spreadsheets, creating reports and giving presentations.
WHAT DO I NEED TO GET THERE?
If you are still in college and considering a career as a financial analyst, it is best to take courses in business, economics, accounting and maths. Many of the junior analysts hired by firms have these backgrounds, while MBA graduates are often hired as senior analysts right out of business school. However, increasingly, big banks like Goldman Sachs hire analysts from various fields and then train them in finance. Most banks give an opportunity to interns, so it is advisable to complete an internship while in college so you can decide if this is indeed your calling.
WHAT TO EXPECT?
Being an analyst involves processing high volumes of information and picking out the important pieces. You will need to constantly keep yourself updated on financial news. You will be continually working on various systems and reports, so it is advised to master Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet applications. Travel will be part of the job and many employers give bonuses, which can be equal to or double the beginning analyst’s salary, to attract and hold intelligent personnel. However, your social life will be confined to your office, in other words, nonexistent, in the beginning.
THE BOTTOM LINE
While a career as a financial analyst requires preparation and lots of hard work at the cost of your personal life, it also has the potential to deliver huge financial windfalls and the genuine satisfaction that comes from being an integral part of the financial landscape. You will get opportunities to be part of or make decisions that impact countries and even continents while learning how to turn absolutely anything into a money-making commodity.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
It’s incredible what this little Microsoft tool can do. Learn everything you can about this and it will take you places.
ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
Keep questioning the way things work, whether it’s a company, a product or a system, and look to improve it
NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK
Building your network is one of the most important things to grow in this position. Get to know senior analysts and traders, ask them to mentor you and learn all you can from them.
KEEP YOURSELF UPDATED
Spend at least an hour of your day reading financial news. What happens several thousand miles away can have a direct impact on your job.
Volume 3 Issue 5