Financial analysts help people decide how to invest their money. They work for banks, insurance companies, mutual funds, and securities firms. They often meet with company officials to learn more about the firms in which they want to invest. After the meetings, the analysts write reports and give talks about what they found out. Then, they suggest buying or selling that firm's stock.

Financial analysts may specialize. Those in investment banking help companies that want to sell stock to the public for the first time. They also might study the pros and cons of a merger (when two companies join) or a takeover (when one company buys another). Some financial analysts are ratings analysts. They work for firms that provide ratings of companies in the market.

Financial analysts usually work in fast-paced offices. They recommend to clients when to buy and sell investments, may work long hours staying up to date on economic trends, business news, and news from companies in various sectors of the economy. They also write reports explaining their analysis, share their expertise with colleagues who aren't financial experts, and sometimes communicate their perspectives to the public. Many work for financial companies, including those in the financial services and insurance industries. One in three financial analysts put in between 50 and 70 hours per week, sometimes working on evenings or weekends. (reference:

According to US News, some of the best jobs to pursue in 2013 are:


Market Research Analyst


Financial Adviser


Financial Manager


Insurance Agent


Financial Analyst


Real Estate Agent

Education and Training

Most financial analysts have a college degree in business, accounting, statistics, or finance. A master's degree in business administration (MBA) is desirable.

Math, computer, and problem-solving skills are vital. Working with clients requires good people skills. Confidence, maturity, and the ability to work on your own are important, too. Analysts also need good communication skills to explain complex financial ideas using simple words.

Financial analysts must be able to look for non-transparent facts and details about companies.

To get ready for these jobs, it helps to learn how to make presentations and write reports. It also helps to read about business news.

How much does this job pay?

Median annual earnings for financial analysts were $75,650 in 2011, with the lowest-paid 10 percent earning less than $46,300 and the highest-paid 10 percent earning $145,580, on average. (reference:

How many jobs are there?

There were approximtely 54,200 financial analyst jobs in 2011. Many of these analysts work at the head offices of big financial firms.

What about the future?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial analyst positions are expected to grow by 23 percent between 2010 and 2020, much faster than the average for all professions. That means approximately another 55,000 positions will open up by 2020. Banks, mutual fund companies, and other investment firms will need more financial analysts in the future. However, competition for these jobs will still be fierce, particularly for new analysts, because they will be in such high demand. (Reference:

© Last Updated2/13/18