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Financial Analyst Career Goals

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    The career I intend to pursue is financial analyst or a similar career in the financial field. Since I was young I have wanted to go into business and recently I had interest specifically in the financial aspect of business. After discussing with some people in the field and doing research the financial field meets my personal requirements. The career and field are growing with a lot of room for advancement. The salary is high enough to keep me satisfied with my standards of living and the job can be worked in many different settings such as a bank or a corporation. For my happiness I want enough money to live my life the way I want to, and the financial field will help me reach that standard of living.

    A financial analyst examines financial data for a company to help the company make business decisions. Often analysts look at investments that a company makes and advises the company on the investment. The future for financial analysts is bright. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial analyst’s jobs are predicted to grow by 11%, which is above average for job growth. Currently there are 32,100 people employed as financial analysts with 2.1% unemployment (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

    According to U.S. News financial analysts need a bachelor’s degree and people can be hired at the entry level with little to no experience so getting a job in the field isn’t very hard, while getting a job later in career isn’t very hard either since there’s plenty of senior positions. A typical day the field revolves around analyzing over numbers and deciding how well the investment will suit the company. I did an informational interview with Frank Whelan, who is the vice president corporate banker at Salin Bank. Mr. Whelan’s job is basically a financial analyst but for a bank.

    A typical day in the field starts by communicating with clients who want to take out a loan. Then after discussing why they need a loan and what they’ll need it for the loan is analyzed. The loan has to be right as the loans are usually multimillion dollar loans for business’s, so an analyst must review it and make sure every detail is correct or else that money will be lost. Dealing with so much money and making sure the loans are correct are one of the reasons Mr. Whelan said the job can be stressful since it involves dealing with so much money that isn’t yours and he stated that “the more senior you are the more money you deal with, so it is stressful doing the best job possible because you must be helping the bank and the customer.”

    Doing the best job possible an analyst must vigorously analyze the loan to make sure the person’s credit and idea will work because the bank cannot risk losing its million dollars or more investment. The job is also hard when people fail to pay back their loans for reasons such as an economic downturn or a business fails. It is hard since it is people’s livelihoods, but Mr. Whelan said that it was an investment for the bank and the bank’s money is more important so it’s just part of the job. Not all of the job is just looking at the numbers and the bank collecting on loans. Mr. Whelan said that he does enjoy seeing when people succeed and knowing he was a part of it and he has developed friendships with clients. So, the average day can be stressful and hard sometimes, but it is a job like everyone else.

    Entering the field, a bachelor’s degree is not technically needed but most employers require having one. Although additional training is not required, people in the field can obtain other certifications to help them advance further in a career or can give a person an edge in hiring such as an MBA. Investopedia states that “MBA graduates are often hired as senior analysts right out of business school.” Education and certifications are not the only things required to succeed in this field, having normal job skills are very important to succeed as well.

    According to Investopedia the top skills needed for a financial analyst are being detailed, organized, technology skills, communication, and leadership skills. Skills like being detailed and organized are important because as an analyst a person must accidently putting one wrong number, even if it is small can hurt a business significantly, so making sure everything is correct and where it should be, is essential. Having light technology skills such as using Microsoft Word and Excel are important when writing up reports as they are in most business’s.

    Lastly having communication and leadership skills are very important. An analyst will have to speak to clients or fellow analysts, so they need to be able to get their point of well. Leadership is important because the analyst will eventually lead a team to move up to a more senior position (Investopedia).

    These skills will not be hard for me to apply and develop. I already am a very organized person and I am fairly detailed, so these skills will not be a challenge. I know how to use Microsoft office very well and have been using it most of my life. The most challenging skills that I need to develop are communication and leadership. I can communicate and lead, but I need to really master the skills to help go into this career.

    Using these skills can help me earn a better salary in this field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average financial analyst’s salary was $97,640 in 2016 and the median was $84,300. The lowest paid salary was $50,350 and the 25th percentile salary was $62,640 so a beginner in the field can anticipate earning around $50,000 to $62,000. Advancing in the field is where a significant of money can be made. The 75th percentile of salaries was $111,675 with the highest reported paid at $165,100 (U.S. News). With large salaries later in the career and a possibility of switching to similar careers like financial advisor, which pays $123,000 on average, a person can anticipate making a decent amount of money in the career as they advance.

    To prepare for this career right now I can do a few things. To prepare for this career as a student taking finance and business-related classes can help. The best way to prepare though is getting good enough grades in high school to get in a respectable college and get a bachelor’s degree at minimum. My interviewee gave me the advice to get a lot of internships, so I can see if I truly want to go into the field. Some more advice was to be open and transparent because he has seen a lot of people in the field fake their numbers to look better but they end up losing their jobs (Frank Whelan).

    This job will help me meet my financial goals from the beginning to the later years of my career. My budget with the beginning salary had enough money left over that I could put the extra into other categories such as savings and retirement, so the job will satisfy my financial goals. With my financial goals set I will be able to have enough money to live my life the way I want to, so I will be able to be self-sufficient. I anticipate that I will love the handling of money and seeing how the investments I suggest work out. I enjoy analyzing money and looking into investments, so I feel this career will suit me well.

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