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How to become a Financial Analyst?

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Top Answer
Talent.com talent.com
Answered April 30 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
Unlike accounting or financial planning, there is no single defined path to becoming a Financial Analyst. However, if this is a path that interests you, your first step should be to obtain an undergraduate degree. A few different majors can lead to a career as a Financial Analyst, but you should take courses in business, economics, accounting, and math during your undergraduate study. Common majors in the field are finance, statistics, or commerce. 

Going to graduate school for an MBA is not mandatory, but it can help you stand out in a crowded and competitive field. Many Financial Analysts are MBA graduates that are hired right out of business school. The large investment banks hire almost exclusively from the graduating classes of those top-tier MBA programs. 

There are a few exams that, while no mandatory, show to you have a firm grasp of investment concepts and accounting practices. These are the Series 7, Series 63, CFA, and SIE. Many workplaces have programs that allow you to study for these exams. 

What Can Help You Become a Financial Analyst
Beyond an interest in finance and math, there are a few things that can help you become a great Financial Analyst.

  • An interest in macroeconomics and current affairs

    Financial Analysts seek to position their company in the world better. They need to understand current macroeconomic trends and understand where markets are going to provide the best advice to their clients. Reading publications like the Financial Times and The Economist helps them stay informed of current affairs. 
  • A willingness to travel

    Analysts are often sent to see how companies are operating on the ground. They also frequently attend conferences with other professionals in the field. 
  • Computer literacy

    Financial Analysts use spreadsheets, relational databases, and statistical and graphics packages as tools in their daily work. They need to be proficient in these tools to produce the material they need to do their job.