Introduction to Finance Careers

Finance can simply be defined as “assets and liability management”. It is a vast field that deals with various aspects of deals or transactions involving money. It’s not a new field as it has been around for thousands of years, since the time man started trading; earlier it was the barter system or goods in exchange of goods and then came the monetary system. However, the fundamentals of this field have remained more or less the same even though it has evolved over the ages. We have complex financial structures both in micro and macro levels and so there are a lot of opportunities for people who want to get into finance careers after school.

For being a part of finance careers, one would require a degree that equips graduates with the knowledge and necessary tools to build a successful career in the financial industry. Training programs tend to focus on building a comprehensive understanding of managing finances, laws associated with it, interpersonal skills and professional knowledge of the subject.

A degree in finance would prepare an individual to manage, analyze and plan different financial or monetary aspects related to performance of any organization; these organizations could be in the field of IT, banking, real estate, manufacturing and consulting services etc. This course makes an effort to educate people in accounting principles, financial instruments, planning of capital funds acquisition, asset or debt management, budgeting, analyzing financials and investments in addition to portfolio management.

The courses at the undergraduate or graduate level generally cover areas such as finance, statistics, economics, economic policy and accounting procedures, analysis, financial companies and budgeting methods.

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in finance are eligible for a wide range of finance-related careers in private businesses, public bodies and non-profit organizations. Most people in this industry work in areas such as commercial banks, corporations and MNCs, investment banking, money management, insurance and real estate.

Tasks or activities associated with this profession:

1) Designing and operating policies and procedures of organizations.

2) Taking decisions on the operational capital of the company, ensuring that each of its departments have the financial means necessary for it to function properly.

3) Analyzing new business opportunities and their financial feasibility.

4) Managing the process of obtaining capital for new ventures.

Thus finance careers can be both challenging and fulfilling and many people find it as a lucrative option. It could also be the key to economic stability as professionals in this field are paid well.

Finance Career – Finance Job

Many people are drawn to money. Not just to have more of it (who doesn’t?), but to actually participate in the finance industry and make a career out of it.

Did you know that some of the most successful people in finance and investments never pursued finance in college? Did you know many never even went to college? There are people who have built successful careers in investments or the financial industry grew and learned on the job.

Like I said, there are many branches to this tree. Accountants, CPA’s, and analysts must go through significant educational requirements before finding finance jobs. While these careers are built on heavy education and commitment, there are other areas of finance that do not require stringent or specialized education before entering the job market.

Stockbroker and Financial Advisor jobs

Stockbrokers, Registered Representatives and financial advisors are basically salesmen in the finance industry. That is not to demean what they do, it’s actually true. Once you are a licensed stockbroker and working for a firm, you are a phone broker. Many of the top firms will require 2 or 4 year degrees before hiring you for a job, but a finance or investment related degree is usually not required. Many smaller firms do not require college at all. They are looking for brokers with talent, drive and the ability to communicate and persuade. If you can convince the firm that you can earn money, you can get in. There are successful stockbrokers and advisors who make $200,000 or more and many of them were car salesmen, insurance agents, collections salesmen, real estate agents etc. Training is ongoing and most should decide after 6 months or one year whether this is the finance career or job they want.

The downside to this career, is the compensation you earn. It is largely, if not exclusively – commission or fee based. It’s a sink or swim finance career. It is not for everyone, but the requirements are easier, so if you are good at it – you’re all set!

Mortgage Broker Career

When Wall Street began losing jobs in late 2000 and for several years after, many brokers and advisors began careers as mortgage processors or mortgage brokers. The mortgage finance industry was booming. With interest rates low and the economy slower, homeowners were looking to take advantage of the equity in their homes or looking to refinance. People who were in these jobs at mortgage companies made a lot of money. People had needs and the environment was ripe for big business.

The problem with mortgage finance jobs is that it is a very cyclical business and it relies on constant new business and referrals for the brokers to earn money. If I had my choice overall, getting a job in the mortgage broker business would be one of my last choices. Good times are real good. Bad times are real bad.

Insurance Jobs and Retirement Finance Careers

With the population of the country living longer and the trend of big companies providing attractive retirement plans on the decline, insurance agents, retirement and estate planners are doing well. Building a finance career and getting jobs in these areas can be very rewarding and the trends are on your side.

There are many areas of finance and investments. You may end up being a bond broker, a trader, a mutual fund broker or something else. The quickest way into a good investment or finance job or career is to get a job as a financial advisor or broker. You have to put in the time and effort, but the openings are there and the experience you gain working with client investments will serve you very well going forward. Either you make a great career doing just that, or you platform that job into another area that better suits you.

The finance industry can be tough, it is competitive and you must stand out, but it’s better than digging ditches – usually!

Good Luck!

A College Degree Is The Starting Point Of Your Finance Career

If you want a career in financing, you have to get a college degree. To be more specific, you have to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in math, business, statistics or economics since you will be dealing with numbers and using these skills to make decisions and recommendations.

One study shows that there are currently 230,000 financial analysts and financial advisors in the US. You might think that there is no more vacancy in the market but there are because new businesses are established while old ones are still growing.

With a college degree, one thing you can try is financial consulting. Here, you are tasked on providing advice to business valuation, economic forecasts and analysis, treasury management, strategies for creating shareholder value and securities pricing.

Later on, you may be promoted to finance manager and instead of providing advice to clients, you will have the opportunity to invest their money in order to make a profit. Those who do well here earn somewhere around $73,000 to $145,000 annually and with the amount of money that is given, you better deliver.

Another field is corporate financing in which your job is to manage the client’s assets and if the opportunity presents itself, make acquisitions.

Those who want to serve their country may issue securities, enforce the law, manage assets and offer financial advice to people.

Similar to the finance manager are the money managers because they hold stocks and bonds for clients and at the same time buy stuff off Wall Street. For this job, you need to be proficient in various technologies as well as the latest qualitative methodologies. You will also need to be CFA certified.

Working for an insurance company is also a viable option. Here, you help prepare clients deal with catastrophes before they happen. It is a trillion dollar industry that is still growing so you can still get in the game.

Among the various opportunities, many find their way to commercial banking. You could be a bank manager, teller, the one in charge of approving loans or looking for new accounts. This accounts for the majority of those employed in the financial services industry.

In any of the positions mentioned, you must be good with numbers and have excellent interpersonal skills. Why? Because you are dealing with people and if the client doesn’t like your personality, chances are they will bring their business elsewhere.

After working for a few years, you can work for another company or be daring and start up your own company.

Aside from banking, the real estate industry is also looking out for finance graduates. This is because their training is useful when it comes to property management, real estate appraisal, brokerage and leasing, construction and real estate development. On one end, they sell property while on the other find ways to make it possible for the customer to invest depending on their budget.

A college degree is the starting point of your finance career because no company out there will hire someone who just graduated from secondary school or does not have the proper training when you are dealing with other people’s money. So, if you are still considering what to take up in college or lost in your current course, shift over because this is very rewarding.