When it comes to the world of finance, you will hardly find a more advantageous career opportunity. Having a finance career lends itself to plenty of financial freedom and diversity of knowledge in addition to expertise. You will find, for example, that finance and accounting are sometimes determined to be completely different categories. In finance, you work with the big picture, instead of the minutia that accounting demands. You will be responsible for critically analyzing financial situations and trends, but in regard to the future. As a financial analyst, you are using present information to make financial predictions that are important for financial decisions. Fascinated by the prospect of a finance career? Read on for the pros and cons related to such an undertaking:
Excellent Salary. It is no secret that those involved in finance make a lot of money. After you acquire more experience, you may find yourself with an even higher salary. Most financial advisers work on commission, which is a system where income relies on the clients that are brought in and kept by the analyst. There are financial analysts who gain six digits in revenue over time!
Diverse Opportunities. When many people think of finance careers, their first thought is accounting. Additional careers include banking, hedge funds, financial analysis, and becoming an enrolled agent. Each offers its own niche of education and benefits for you to enjoy. Keep in mind that each job, however, has different requirements to enter the field. For instance, a financial analyst will have to pass a CFA exam to become certificated; even the most experienced of financial analysts can spend years learning how to pass the CFA exam.
Utilize your Critical Thinking Skills. Critical thinking is essential to any job in the finance industry. However, if you have this innate skill, you will find this incredibly rewarding. This job requires that you be able to think ahead and think quickly after analyzing financial information. Some people have the personality that thrives on this high-pressure work environment. If this sounds like you, you will likely enjoy a financial analyst position.
Flexibility. Many jobs offer an excellent work/life balance. Accountants, for example, may find that they are busiest around tax season but experience less stress in the other months. Other careers such as that of a financial advisor will have a few independent clients, which allows them flexible work hours. If you enjoy more consistency and stability, a private accountant job may work best for you because you will work typical business hours.
High Stress. As mentioned above, this career demands tight deadlines and high pressure. Some people find it difficult to initially adjust to this lifestyle. If you can get past the initial adjustment, you might find that you can keep up with this dynamic job. Unlike other careers that deal with money, such as accounting, the pressure is related to the local and global economy. Clients may drop in and out depending on the market. Just like with stocks, clients can be highly emotionally reactive to the ups and downs of the market. Often, you will find yourself trying to monitor the emotions of the client so that they do not make rash decisions.
Meeting Quotas. Part of what lends to this stress has to do with the quotas firms make them meet by a certain deadline. As a financial analyst you are also part salesperson because you are always looking for new clients. Networking is an essential part of a financial analyst career, therefore you will likely dedicate a lot of resources—including money—to keep building a client base.
Continuous Education. You are not finished once you obtain your CFA. You will have to continuously gain new knowledge in the changing market. This may be a positive for some and a negative to others. Every year you will be required to take courses that update you with new information. This is important both for your integrity and for the protection of the client.
There are numerous benefits to be gleaned from a career in finance, but it’s not always an easy road. Consider the pros and cons of such a career and determine whether it’s a good fit for you.