Financial Analyst: A Profitable Career Option for Finance Jobs!

In the current job market, the hottest job position that is more in demand is of financial analyst. A person who can meet the new expectations of the employers in the finance area will surely find more employment and professional growth opportunities.

Who is a financial analyst?

A financial analyst also known as a business analyst is a person who is involved in monitoring the financial movements of a company. The main task of an analyst is to evaluate a company’s financial risk and drafting financial forecasts. With the assistance of these analysts, companies can make well-informed financial decisions, develop cash flows, debt strategies and maintain their budgets.

Industries that demand financial analysts

There are several industries, which require a person for handling various finance related issues. Some of these industries include:

Accounting and Auditing services industry
Aerospace and Defense industry
Banking industry
Biotechnology/Pharmaceuticals industry
Business Services industry
Computer Software/Hardware industry
Construction industry
Consumer Packaged Goods industry
Education industry
Electronics, Components, and Semiconductor industry
Energy and Utility industry
Engineering Services industry
Financial Services industry

Financial Analyst Job Duties:

Evaluate an organization’s financial risk and prepare a report describing financial forecasts, financing options and capital management strategies
Assist in preparing a company’s budget
Determine cost of operations by collecting and analysing operational data
Identify the present financial status of the company by analysing and comparing actual results with plans
Establish various policies and procedures related to cost
Recommend various solutions to improve and manage financial status by monitoring and identifying financial trends
Maintain database by collecting, verifying and backing up data
Develop automated accounting applications with an aim to boost productivity
Keep financial information confidential
Work with company officials to gain a better insight into the company’s prospects and management?

Educational qualifications:

In order to get into this job position, one must have an undergraduate degree in finance, management, economics, statistics and administration. Having certifications and a graduate degree can notably enhance an applicant’s prospects. Furthermore, an internship during studies can be really fruitful in the long run.

Skills required:

Various skills required to become a successful analyst include:

Excellent communication skills including both verbal and written
Detailed understanding of companies
Superior analytical and organizational skills
Project management skills
Ability to create financial models
Ability to work independently and take sound decisions
Better understanding of financial and quantitative concepts
Must be able to manage multiple tasks, projects
Knowledge of computers and other latest technologies

Salary overview

In India, the average salary of a financial analyst is in between INR 3,00,00 to INR 4,00,00 per year. As the experience increases in this job position, the chances of higher income also increases. Furthermore, knowledge of various factors like risk management or control, valuation, SAS, SAP financial accounting, financial modeling, etc, can fetch you a smart salary.

Conclusion:

A financial analyst job is definitely the most lucrative career choice, especially for those who are very good at analyzing financial concepts. An experience in this profile will provide you high income and other benefits. However, strong competition is expected for this job position. A deep understanding of the roles and skills and financial terms along with a relevant experience can boost your chances for getting the job.

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Financial Analyst Certification – Training For Top Salaries

If you are a finance major, or already have a degree in finance, you know the importance of a financial analyst certification. Many employers specifically look for certification when hiring. Certification always improves your professional standing in this field. Being certified will also increase your self confidence, bring you greater recognition in your job, and advance you towards a higher salary. Through 2016, job growth in this area is expected to be at least 37% for financial analysts and advisors. 13% growth is predicted for financial managers through 2016. Be prepared! There are many ways you can train for a top salary.

Know where you will be needed. Investment banks, insurance companies, and businesses that prepare pension and mutual funds always need financial analysts. Areas of industry, like securities, energy, or technology also need these analysts who can study investments and advise them accordingly. Any place that needs someone to evaluate finances, identify trends, and predict market behavior will need these analysts. Large companies, both public and private, hire financial analysts. Any training you can complete, especially with financial analyst certification, will greatly influence your salary in this field. In 2008-2009, the average salary for a financial analyst was $66,500.

The top 10% of these analysts made $130,000 in 2008-2009, and the bottom 10% made $40,000. Even with the recent downturn of the market in investment banking, the finance industry still contains professionals who make among the highest wages in commercial endeavors. Acquiring a certification also ensures your salary potential. Knowing how to effectively and efficiently use Excel spreadsheets, and software will ensure your ability to secure a top paying job as an analyst in finance. You can help a small business understand trends and how to adjust to them. You can help the same business look good to its observers with a current financial analysis.

Banks, investors, and others on the outside of a company, whether small or large, use financial analysis to measure a company’s success. When you are a top salary earner with a financial analyst certification, you will be able to assess a company’s liquidity, profitability, and leverage against other companies. This is imperative to aid the company in meeting goals and competition with other companies. Overseeing the preparation of financial reports, guiding investment activities, and implementing cash management techniques are invaluable to a business. As an analyst in finance, you will do all of these for a business, so make sure your training includes this knowledge.

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Finance Careers: Investment Banking Associate

As second-year MBA students chatter at cocktail parties, one of the major topics of discussion is who landed investment banking offers. Although the reputation of investment banking has taken a beating following the 2008 financial crisis, corporate finance jobs are still an incredible way to gain valuable business experience and earn a handsome paycheck.

Since the financial crisis, many perceive investment banking to have changed forever, and in many ways, it has. But there will still be IPOs, mergers and leveraged buyouts and a need to raise capital to grow businesses, and that means there will be jobs for those who have what it takes to succeed in corporate finance.

For the MBA, the typical entry job into the corporate finance department is an associate position. It’s a demanding slot, but it’s one rung above an analyst position, pays well and leads to great client exposure and business experience. So what will it take for an MBA to secure an associate position?

From B-School to I-Banking

Yes, corporate finance looks for bright individuals who can clearly articulate business insights and who will dazzle clients with social skills. But at the associate level, investment banks are also looking for MBAs that have strong finance experience and are driven and disciplined.

In terms of experience, bankers are ideally looking for candidates with previous corporate finance experience. Such experience could be a pre-MBA stint as an analyst or a summer internship with an investment bank. Firms also tend to value candidates with Big Four accounting experience, commercial banking experience or other positions that require significant exposure to finance and accounting.

Similar to the analyst hiring process, interviews for associate positions can be intense, and the ante is upped for candidates who have completed graduate programs and will be expected to work more closely with clients. Associate candidates should put in several hours of practice interviews and be prepared for all sorts of questions. For those who have already gone through the interview process as an analyst, the interview won’t be as intimidating (otherwise, get ready!).

Interviews may involve several rounds, culminating in a “super Saturday” round in which the top candidates meet with all the bankers at the firm for another round of interviews and socializing – giving the firm an opportunity to see which candidates are the best cultural fit.

As with most interviews, candidates must be prepared to impress the firm with their intellect and skills, but more importantly, they must prove that they are a likeable person that will work well with the firm’s employees. For candidates who receive offers, it’s time to get ready for life as an investment banking associate.

The Corporate Finance Quarterback

There’s a good reason why associates earn a healthy salary and a large bonus each year. In short, they are the quarterbacks of the corporate finance office. They may have analysts to whom they can assign projects, but they have to juggle multiple projects from multiple bankers with complicated schedules. Managing the analysts is no easy task either, as each of them are pushed to the max with their project workloads.

Like analysts, associates may start their day at 8 am and not finish it until 1 or 2am – and sometimes may not go home at all. They come in on the weekend to stay on top of projects and ensure that documents and presentations are completed with enough time for thorough editing. Associates usually put in as much time as analysts – often 80 to 100 hours a week at New York firms or 60 to 80 hours at firms off of Wall Street.

The Deal Cycle

Associates play a key operational role in the deal cycle of the corporate finance department. In the deal cycle, investment bankers – the vice presidents and managing directors – will either approach or be approached by companies with ideas for potential transactions. These deals may include IPOs, follow-on offerings, private placements, mergers and acquisitions.

Bankers will set up a meeting with the company called a pitch, in which they pitch the services of the firm to the company and present their analysis of the feasibility of the potential transaction.

At the pitch, the bankers will present the potential client with a pitch book – usually a hard-copy PowerPoint presentation that describes the credentials of the bank along with a detailed analysis of the market in which the company operates and often a valuation of the company itself.

If the company is impressed with the firm and interested in pursuing a deal, then it will engage the firm to execute the transaction. Depending on the type of transaction and the conditions of the market, these transactions can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to complete. At any point in time, bankers can be working on several pitches and deals all at once.

What do Associates Do?

Analysts tend to work on the front end of the deal cycle, working on pitch books for the bankers. Associates also work on the front end of the deal cycle, overseeing and editing the work of analysts in the preparation of pitchbooks.

But associates also assist in the execution of deals – preparing sales documents for various transactions, editing prospectuses and even discussing due diligence materials with potential purchasers in M&A and other transactions. As associates gain the respect of senior bankers, they may get to accompany the senior bankers on pitches and become more involved in business development.

A first-year associate may initially perform many of the same analyses as analysts – comps, DCFs, LBO, etc. – but associates eventually transition to more senior level work. Rather than cranking through the template financial models that analysts work with, some may redesign these models or build models specifically for particular deals.

Much of the legwork that associates perform involves spreading client financials to share with potential investors or drafting private information memoranda for M&A transactions or private placements. Because of the nature of this work, associates often work closely with clients, speaking with CEOs, CFOs and other members of the management team to assemble relevant information for sales documents.

Associates quickly learn to charm clients while at the same time leaning on them to provide timely, detailed information for sales documents. Corporate finance transactions can be extremely stressful on clients (and associates), and associates must be able to navigate tough situations where clients have become fatigued and emotional by the deal process.

The Perks of Being an Associate

Despite all the pressure and long hours, there are some payoffs for associates who stick around. Depending on the firm, starting salaries for associates can range from $100k to $150k, but when you add in bonuses that are often north of 50%, total compensation can range from $150k to $250k.

Many firms have a policy that when employees have to stay at work past 7pm, they get their dinner paid for. Like analysts, associates stay past 7pm nearly every night, so free dinners can quickly add up to a lot of money.

Other perks often include reimbursement for cell phone or blackberry bills, free cab rides for late trips home and the occasional opportunity to celebrate with other bankers at a lavish closing dinner.

Career Progression

If an associate chooses to leave the investment banking world, their experience can often be leveraged to move into positions that would normally require more experience. Investment banking is incredibly rigorous work with associates wracking up double the hours of the average worker and performing their work at an intensity level that is among the highest in the business world. It is no wonder that they have an easy time excelling in other careers.

For associates who hang around, two or three years of experience usually leads to a promotion to a vice president position. Hours for vice presidents may be a bit lower, but travel is a good bit more.

A high-performing vice president can make the jump to senior vice president or managing director after several years. Although the hours and seniority of these positions may be slightly more appealing than an associate position (senior bankers can still be found at the office on many weekends), they also bear much more responsibility for bringing in new business.

Like any career, anyone considering an associate position at an investment bank should look beyond just pay and prestige and think about whether or not they will enjoy the work. Some of the most valuable benefits investment banking has to offer are the incredible experiences of working with companies during pivotal times – and the character that those experiences build.

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Top 3 – Soccer Players Salaries

The question as to whether or not athletes in general and soccer players in particular, should be earning the kind of money they’re earning is more vibrant then ever these days, with clubs paying their players incredible amounts of money each year.

The comparison to other sports is also very relative. A gymnast will train all his life, miss out on a lot of his younger years only to be able to handle a world class performance, but he will still not win as much in his lifetime as one of the highest earning soccer players makes in a year. But that’s the market’s call and there’s no “fair” in sales share.

Getting back to our topic, it’s somewhat difficult to judge exactly how much a player makes simply from his club salary, because many wage details are private, due to obvious reasons. As a club manager, you want to create complete harmony in your team and with all of them knowing that player gets paid twice as much as the rest, won’t help you out with that.

The highest earning soccer players can also be affected by having their salaries publicly available, because at every less than bright performance, they’ll be confronted with a “My God! He really should have played better for the kind of money he’s making” type of exclamation from fans, media and fellow players.

A soccer player’s income also comes from several other sources than simply his wage. For example, the best ever soccer players always made more money from endorsements and ads than their wages; take a look at David Beckham if you don’t believe me.

Other contractual bonuses will also earn them a fair amount. For example, many strikers that are confident in their ability to play regularly and score will have contract bonuses for each goal, assist or for a total number of goals at the end of the season, while agreeing for a lower wage cutout.

However, considering all of the above, it would be logical to say that the highest earning soccer players are also the ones with the highest wages. A club will want to keep a player that brings in incredible amounts of money through endorsements and merchandise sale, so they will offer him a high salary. According to Forbes Magazine, here are the top 3 earners:

Ronaldinho ($29.5 million, salary + endorsement deals) – one of the most famous and nonconformist personas in soccer, Ronaldinho has become the trademark of playing soccer as a game, not as a business. His constant smile while playing and his tricks made him one of the most popular figures today, despite the fact that he’s not as handsome and clean-cut as Beckham or Kaka. Ronaldinho is also widely considered one of the best ever soccer players, despite the fact that he still has many years to play for FC Barcelona, or his future clubs.

David Beckham ($29.1 million, salary + endorsement deals) – no presentation required, Beckham is more than just a soccer players for close to a decade now. His recent move to LA Galaxy from Real Madrid for an impressive transfer fee was well worth it, since American finance analysts agreed that the transfer would soon turn to profit, as Beckham shirt sales and other endorsements would soon earn the club their money back.

Ronaldo ($23.4 million, salary + endorsement deals) – the ex-phenomenon, the chunky Brazilian who impressed the World with his speed and goal-hungry attitude is not at the peak of his game anymore, although his move to Milan seems to have revived him somewhat. Despite his declining form, Ronaldo remains one of the central figures in today’s soccer, as he has an established name and image for over a decade.

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