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Financial Analyst - Training & Careers

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Financial Analyst Financial analysts work for banks, other financial institutions, and companies with serious money to invest. As a financial analyst you would assess various types of investments so you could advise your clients what they should buy (and sell) to optimize their investments.

As the name suggests, you would spend a lot of your time analyzing finances, especially company financial statements, to understand in detail how well companies were performing. You might well specialize in a particular industry sector, such as retail or hi-tech, becoming expert in all aspects of that sector with regard to future business profits. You might also be called an investment or securities analyst. Financial analysts who provide similar services for individuals are known as personal financial advisors.

What skills do financial analysts need?

You need a good head on your shoulders to be a financial analyst. You need to have strong analytical skills, be good with figures, and have an eye for both the big picture and the fine print. You will need to be fluent in finance and accounting, as well as understanding the regulations that apply to companies and investments.

What training is required?

You need at least a bachelor-level degree to make a career as a financial analyst. Your program should include courses in statistics, business, and economics and you should also study accounting and business analysis. You may also study topics in particular types of investments. Personal financial advisors do not strictly require a degree, but a formal education will boost their career prospects.

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