A Financial Analyst performs the very vital job of evaluating market trends, setting-up long-term goals, financial policies and deciding upon when and what investors should be made for an investor’s or company’s profit. The sail of a company’s fortune rests majorly on the reports, suggestions a financial analyst provides on the rough seas that present markets ride. Such responsibility and dependence from a company bring in a heavy pay. But this also means that employers would demand experience. For an aspirant without experience, attaining this position could be a haze if not provided with directions. Following are some tips on this course:
Certification and skills
As is the case with any job, the aspirant must know his craft. One must have at least a bachelor’s degree — preferably in a finance-related major, such as accounting or economics.
Furthermore, it has become nearly compulsory that the aspirant has a certification in any one of- CFP, CFA (most popular), CFS, CIMA, or the CLU courses though MBA may fill the requirement of these certifications in many cases. Apart from this, the aspirant should have solid analytical, valuation, marketing and communication skills and anin-depth understanding of companies. He should also be capable of building financial models and working on software such as MS Excel, ERPs, and SAS. To help kick-start the career in this field, it is advisable to enrol in training programs that provide these certifications and skills. One can easily find such courses online.
Expand your reach
Networking forms the roots of the financial world and therefore is one of the most important elements required to break into an industry. Networking can provide an analyst with a better assessment of a company and exposure to opportunities. The simplest and most effective way to network is to start with people one already knows and ask them to introduce to people at different companies. One can approach his/her university’s alumni for contacts in industries. One may also seek social media services such as LinkedIn for networking.
Follow current events
As an analyst works on data- past and present, the aspirant should keep himself fresh on the present scenario of markets, investment banks. One can simply read/watch the business news regularly and keep notes. This also helps in keeping up interesting conversations related to the industry when networking with people.
Start and Maintain a Financial Blog
The simple clause of sharing what you learn with the world is rewarding. While you improve your understanding of the topic, you also improve your networks, help others learn and remain motivated. A simple blog on WordPress, Medium can serve this purpose. One can use platforms like ‘SeekingAlfa’ to publish their research on the markets. These articles may be added as achievements on the resume and can make great discussion points in financial analyst interviews.
Use a trading simulator
Trading stock is a risky business. Before the aspirant can advise others regarding investments, he/she should have a practical understanding of the market dynamics. One can gain such practical intellect by using trading simulators such as ‘wall street survivor’ or ‘how the market works’. One may also use the demo accounts on online trading platforms to apply his/her theoretical knowledge. Furthermore, these help in testing strategies and coming up with innovative approaches.
Gain Experience from internships
Most investment firms offer summer internships to students, many of which even allow full-time job prospects. Such an internship can bring the aspirant closer to the industry. Even when the internship is unpaid, the experience gained in such field work is invaluable. One can seek his/her university’s career advisors for such opportunities.