How to become a Financial Analyst

This article provides in-depth information into What is a Financial Analyst? What Financial Analysts do? Degrees for Financial Analysts, Steps to become Financial Analyst and much more.

Financial analysts investigate money related information about products, industries, or regions, and utilize this information to make financial forecasts and evaluate the potential risks of investment decisions. In simple, a financial analyst is a person who analysis the financial position and status of companies, individuals, and others to help them make a major financial decision within the firm.

Financial analysts also research and investigate various factors that even economists are involved in doing such as microeconomics, macroeconomics, and recent trends. In simple, Financial analyst definition can be explained as a person who analyses the financial position of any firm and guides them to overcome the issues. this career guide on how to become a Financial analyst details on the steps, courses, and various degree levels to become successful. 

What does a Financial Analyst do ?

Financial analysts give direction to organizations and people settling on venture choices. Following are the duties of a financial analyst.

  • Recommend singular speculations and accumulations of ventures, which are known as portfolios.

  • Identify the present financial status and speculate the market to suggest ideas for a company to cope up with future uncertainties.

  • Evaluate current and historical financial data, monetary and business patterns.

  • Examine an organization's budgetary statements to decide its value and prepare written reports.

  • Meet with organization authorities to increase better knowledge into the organization's prospects.

  • Assess the quality of the administration group.

  • Maintaining each and every database, backing up data, keep track of all the changes, and protect and improve the operations by keeping all information confidential.

If you want to know more about various Accounting degrees available, Job prospects you can check out How to become an Accountant

How long does it take to become a Business Analyst?

A Bachelor's degree is the base for everything, it is important that an individual will pursue their UG first in the business related field which would generally take 3-4 years. You can even choose to go for higher education, earn a master's degree and then work with enough experience. It again takes 2 years for a masters degree in business. So, ideally, it takes 5-6 years to be a business analyst. Master's degree also provides a way to find practical exposure to that work.


Steps for becoming a Financial Analyst


Earn A Bachelor’s Degree

Most financial analysts have a four-year college education in business administration, finance, economics, statistics or accounting. Whatever major you pick courses in business, statistics, accounting, economics and financial analysis can be useful in setting you up for this vocation.


Earn A Master’s Degree

If you get a master's degree in business administration or finance, you may be more attractive in the employment market. Financial analysts with a bachelor’s degree may start as a junior analyst and earn a master’s degree while working. This mix of work involvement and training positions them to move into a more elevated amount position.


Obtain A Job

If you want to work on the purchase side, get a job with a mutual or pension fund, investment bank or insurance company. If you want to work on the offer side, obtain a job with a securities firm. As a financial analyst, you'll often have some expertise in a particular item, locale or industry. For example, you may center around the options market, work fundamentally in Asia or stick completely to the broadcast communications field.


Get License

You may need to acquire at least one license, particularly on the off chance that you are managing securities firms on the offer side. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority directs authorizing of experts in the securities business. As indicated by the U.S. Agency of Labor Statistics (BLS), your boss will in all probability support your licensure so you don't have to stress over getting to be authorized before looking for work. Licensure must be recharged in the event that you change managers.


Earn Certification

As a professional financial you can acquire discretionary accreditation as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). This assignment, controlled by the CFA Institute, requires four years of work experience and successful completion of three examinations. You'll be tried on subjects like corporate finance, money related markets, financial matters, accounting and portfolio administration. The exams might be taken while simultaneously finishing the work encounter prerequisite. It normally takes 2-5 years to end up a CFA.


Career Advancement

You can help propel your profession by staying up with the latest on currency advertises, the economy and assessment laws. Advancement opportunities include becoming responsible for larger or more important products, managing other financial analysts and becoming a senior financial analyst. You may likewise choose to move into another vocation as a reserve or portfolio manager, consultant, investment advisor or investment banker.

Financial Analyst Salaries

Financial Analyst

Financial Analyst Degree Levels


Most financial analyst positions require a bachelor’s degree that can be in a field such as accounting, business administration, economics, finance or statistics. Other majors that are looked upon favorably include accounting and math. Coursework should include general business classes with a heavy concentration on math, accounting and economics. Finance courses covering subjects such as options pricing, bond valuation and risk management are also important.

Financial markets
  • The Money Market

  • The Bond Market

  • The Stock Market

  • To study about any marketplace

  • Trading of securities

  • Equities, bonds, currencies, and derivatives

  • Portfolio choice decisions

  • Risk and return analysis

  • The rationale for/use of derivatives
  • Theory and practice of investments

  • Security analysis

  • Portfolio management

  • Products and Pensions

  • Risk Management

  • The Regulatory Environment

  • Evaluation of Insurance

  • Quantifying Risk

  • Risk Management


Though pursuing a master's degree is not absolutely necessary, some positions do require it, and it can help give you an edge in the field. In graduate school, you can specialize. Don't just focus on financial analysis. Pick a particular area of the field, such as risk assessment.

Corporate Finance
  • Capital budgeting under certainty

  • Capital structure

  • Payout policy

  • Market environment

  • Valuation of corporate capital

  • Pricing models for primary financial assets

Financial valuation
  • The Time Value of Money

  • Risk-Adjusted Expected Rates of Return

  • The Dividends Valuation Approach

  • Understand Equity Value vs. Enterprise Value

  • Comparable Company Analysis

  • Discounted Cash Flow

Financial modeling
  • Analysis of Financial Statements

  • Forecasting Annual Revenues

  • Cash and Capital Budgeting

  • Representation of a real-world financial situation

  • Presentation of Results

  • Qualified Assessment of finances


Certifications can be essential to advance a career in finance and most financial analyst positions require certifications in addition to education and experience. Most certification exams are administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the largest independent regulator for securities firms in the United States. FINRA also issues certifications based on exam results. To take an exam and earn certification, candidates must meet education and experience requirements, as well as receive sponsorship from a FINRA member firm or a self-regulatory organization.

Investment Banking
  • Comprehensive Valuation Analysis

  • Integrated Cashflow Modeling

  • Merger and Acquisition

  • Finance-related and other services

  • Value investing

  • Growth investing

Credit management
  • The Credit Process

  • Credit Risk Loss Distribution

  • The Basel Accords

  • Granting credit and recovering credit

  • Credit Risk Management

  • Foundation of financial management concepts

Public accounting
  • Public sector management

  • Legal conditions in USA

  • Audit in public sector organisations

  • Tracking financial performance

  • Tax strategies

  • Quality management