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How To Become a Financial Analyst

Find out what it takes to be a successful financial analyst and their importance to investors.

A financial analyst is an expert on the market and has the ability to read and predict market trends. They use this sort of information to consult companies, advising them with recommendations on what the best and highest growth potential investments are. Analysts take the time to analyze and research every aspect of a prospect deal or investment, and weigh the worth; they know how and why a company or institution experiences gains and losses. They gather all the necessary information, write up reports and documentation, and are aware of and follow regulations. Their predictions are critical to their organizations because the outcomes based on their decisions can affect a company for the better, or for the worse. To know what the best investments are, financial analysts have to have a keen eye on the industry and stay up to date with the changing market. They must regularly read daily news and follow current culture from all different types of media streams, this will require some time away from work to efficiently be ‘in the know’ at all times.

Financial Analyst Education

Education is very important for this position, and most financial analysts hold MBAs. Majors in economics with plenty of courses in business, math, and accounting are sufficient for an aspiring financial analyst. There are also ways of acquiring a financial analyst job without attending college, taking a Series 7 and 63 exam or joining the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program. These exams can be extremely advanced and may be beyond anyone who has never taken any economics related schooling or worked in a financial environment. There are many practice exams and programs available to help students learn the material, and some institutions also offer training for the right candidates. Most students right out of college have a great chance of swiftly entering a successful financial analyst career. The beginning position is a junior analyst, and with several years of experience, a junior can become a senior analyst.

The Role of Financial Analyst in the Office

Playing the role of a financial analyst requires being in and a part of a corporate office. Wearing the proper attire and having a positive work attitude with co-workers and superiors is imperative for a fruitful career. The job can be very demanding and may require long hours and traveling to distant places, but the salary is well deserved. As mentioned above, a financial analyst has to always be on top of current news and market trends, so this entails reading and staying informed in and out of the office. Analysts usually work for investment firms, investment banks or insurance companies. They are typically placed in either a ‘sell-side’ institution or a ‘buy-side’ institution, a general education in economics will cover either type of position. In the office, an analyst is all about figures and numbers, enabling them to make solid predictions. There will be many spreadsheets, documents, databases, and graphical information that will be necessary for an analyst to construct goals. Analysts periodically give presentations, usually PowerPoint, within their company or for other companies as well. Included in the presentations is all the necessary information that the analyst has collected that is needed for their audience. An analyst stays busy collecting, selecting, organizing, and analyzing all types of financial information.

The Future for Financial Analysts

Throughout time an analyst will develop and condition skills and may easily move up in their company ladder. To advance further in the field, an analyst can promote to a portfolio manager, or hold higher positions in investment banks and insurance companies that oversee several financial analysts. A financial analyst can expect about 60,000 starting salary with growth potential to 110,000. The future is solid for financial analysts for there are always companies and individuals looking to make the most out of their investments.


  1. So, a very hard task for the financial analyst to follow! Could you please give a hint about the education provided? Some useful sources? Thanks in advance

  2. Hi Peter we just extended the article to include more information regarding education and the role of the financial analyst.