What does a Financial Analyst do?
Financial analysts examine financial data and use their findings to help companies make business decisions. Often, their analysis is meant to inform the investing decisions of companies.
More specifically, financial analysts research macroeconomic and microeconomic conditions along with company fundamentals to make predictions about businesses, sectors, and industries. They also often recommend a course of action, such as buying or selling a company’s stock based upon its overall performance and outlook.
Not all Financial Analysts focus on capital markets and bond markets or make investment related decisions. Some use numerical data to pinpoint the effectiveness of various marketing techniques relative to cost. Some are hired to do a market study and track francizes or groups in a specific geographic location. They also use various economic data and indices to forecast profit and losses.
How to start a career as a financial Analyst
Qualifications for a financial analyst
- Experience: 0-5 years of business finance or other relevant experience
- Degrees: BA, BS, or B.Com degree required (Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting/Finance/Economics) | MBAs are preferred | Finance, Accounting, Economics, or Statistics are preferred major fields
- Skills: Strong analytical and data gathering skills | Strong quantitative and analytical competency | Strong fluency with Excel formulas and functions | High proficiency in financial modeling techniques | Self-starter with excellent interpersonal communication and problem-solving skills | Good business acumen
Career progression of a financial analyst
A graduate seeking to become a financial analyst can expect to begin in a junior position under the guidance of a senior analyst. After several years of experience, many junior consider returning to graduate school for advanced degrees. While junior analysts are not barred from advancement, continuing progression to positions with greater responsibility usually necessitates returning to school. A graduate with a master’s degree can expect to begin work as a senior financial analyst or rise to the position very quickly.
With greater experience and expertise, a senior financial analyst can continue as a supervisor. A senior analyst in the Finance industry often moves up to become a portfolio manager or a fund manager overseeing a team of senior analysts. There may also be an opportunity to enter a senior management role. In the corporate world, senior analysts can become treasury managers supervising working groups within their departments. A remarkable performer may rise through the ranks to become a chief financial officer (CFO) or chief investment officer (CIO) responsible for all of the company’s financial activities. Another possible approach can be starting as an Investment Banking Analyst. Click here to know more about
What are the tools used by a financial Analyst
The most common financial analyst tools:
- Microsoft Office: The 3 main components on MS Office are Word, Excel and PowerPoint. MS Word is a word processor developed by Microsoft. MS Excel is a spreadsheet program which is used to save and analyze numerical data. MS PowerPoint is used to make presentations for personal and professional purposes.
- S&P Capital IQ: S&P Capital IQ is a division of S&P Global, It provides of ratings, data, research, and the S&P Dow Jones Indices.
- Bloomberg: Bloomberg is an extensive global provider of 24-hour financial news and information, including real-time and historic price data, financials data, trading news, and analyst coverage, as well as general news and sports.
- Reuters: Reuters is a global information and news provider headquartered in London, England similar to Bloomberg
By using these data platforms, analysts are able to perform various types of financial analysis based real-time information about companies and businesses they are performing work on.
Tools which I personally used to start off:
- Moneycontrol | ET Markets: Moneycontrol and ET Markets help us track scripts and all important news about the market. These help build your fundamentals about the market
- EM Trade | Trading View: On the other hand, you can apply technical analysis on EM Trade and Trading View to trade stocks, futures, Options, Currencies and Commodities
There is no set way or a promised path which will help you get to the top in the Finance world. Passion, Hard Work, gaining experience and wanting to learn are the skills are the traits a Finance aspirant should focus on. All individuals have different approaches, what would be yours on your journey to become a Financial Analyst? Let me know on LinkedIn or Comment below.