What does a Financial Analyst do?
Financial Analysts typically work at banks, consulting firms, mutual funds and corporations to generate wise investment strategies and support overall financial growth and stability. Their role is to analyze economic conditions, stock market performance and other details to provide expert advice to company leadership before they make financial decisions. Financial Analysts organize data into accessible reports and perform various types of analysis using key metrics such as yearly growth, return on assets, return on equity and earnings per share. They gather data about other companies to determine industry standards and identify trends as they develop.
Financial Analyst skills and qualifications
Financial Analysts use a variety of soft skills and industry knowledge to do their jobs effectively, which can include:
- Strong understanding of how economic trends, political situations, policies and regulations may affect their client’s investments
- Analytical skills to process large amounts of information to find profitable investments
- Verbal and written communication skills
- Computer skills to effectively use software to analyze financial information, identify trends, establish portfolios and make forecasts
- Decision-making skills to provide recommendations to sell, hold or buy a security
- Attention to detail when reviewing potential investments, as small issues may lead to large complications for the overall health of an investment
- Math skills for estimating financial values
Financial Analyst salary expectations
A Financial Analyst makes an average of $73,862 per year. Salary may depend on a candidate’s education, experience level and geographical location.
Financial Analyst education and training requirements
Most employers require Financial Analysts to have a bachelor’s degree in an area such as mathematics, statistics, finance, economics or accounting. In addition, Financial Analysts need a license to sell financial products. The main licensing organization for Financial Analysts is the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Most licenses require employer sponsorship, so most companies do not always expect an applicant to be licensed when applying.
Certifications can improve a Financial Analyst’s chances for promotions. One relevant designation is the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification from the CFA Institute. To become CFA-certified, an individual needs a bachelor’s degree, four years of qualifying work experience and successful completion of three exams.
Financial Analyst experience requirements
Most Financial Analysts start with a specialization in a specific field of investment. In most cases, a Financial Analyst needs at least some experience working in the finance or investment banking sectors before entering this position. A master’s degree in business administration or finance can prove an applicant’s knowledge in the field, which might be able to substitute for any experience requirements.
Job description samples for similar positions
If the Financial Analyst job description doesn’t meet your needs, see job descriptions for related positions: