By Eric Hammer
A financial analyst is a rather unusual profession in that
the job involves both making a lot of money and helping people
who need help. In other words, like a doctor, it's one of the
handful of professions where you can do real good for people
while doing very well for yourself. Here's why being a financial
analyst can be so rewarding in more ways than one:
First of all, a financial analyst works with people to help
them plan their financial lives - you spend your days meeting
with clients who need help to plan for retirement as well as
for major life events. Your duties may include helping your clients
to set up a college savings account for their newborn or it may
include helping them to prepare for purchasing their first home
in a few years time. You may also be involved in helping your
clients to pick the right mix of investments to make their money
At the same time, as a financial analyst, you can potentially
make some real money, especially if you advise people who happen
to be wealthy themselves. That's because many (though not all
- some work on an hourly basis) financial analysts actually earn
a percentage of the money they help their clients to earn. This
means that you can potentially have a windfall if you are able
to help your clients to have a windfall.
How Much Can You Make?
As noted above, some financial analysts work independently
and are more like stock brokers than pure financial analysts.
In this case, your income is largely dependent on the amount
of work you do and how successful you are in helping your clients
to generate wealth. For other financial analysts who work with
middle class people, the income is solidly in the middle class,
with the average being just shy of $50,000 per year according
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
A pure financial analyst works on a one time basis to help
people to make plans for their financial lives. However, many
financial analysts also work as something akin to a stock broker
where they help their clients to make additional investments
and as such can reap a windfall when they help their clients
reap a windfall.
Remember as well that there are all kinds of financial analysts.
The most common ones are those who work with middle class people
to help them plan for major events in their lives. However, there
is another form of financial analyst, known as a wealth manager
who does much the same thing, but who does it for the super rich,
advising them on investments and taking a percentage of any income
that these people earn.
Remember as well that as a financial analyst, you are something
like a psychiatrist for your clients, helping them to plan ahead
while at the same time helping to allay their fears about the
future. You need to be calm and understanding with them, especially
when things don't go the way they hope they'll go since you are
in essence the one they'll turn to for advice when their finances
seem to be spiraling downward.
Qualifications / Requirements
Generally, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree in order
to become a financial analyst. It is also possible that you may
need to a masters degree in finance for some jobs. In addition
to this, you'll need to get various licenses depending on the
specific nature of your work. For example, a financial analyst
may need to be licensed as a stock broker in order to do her
job. You can find out which licenses are required by talking
to your state licensing board and explaining which areas of work
you plan to be involved in as a financial analyst.
Start by earning your bachelor's degree and master's degree
if required. Then, contact large financial analysis companies
and ask about available positions. Eventually, you may want to
strike out on your own as you become more successful.
Investopedia: Becoming a Financial Analyst -
Another excellent guide to this profession from one of the premier
websites for investing online.