Financial Analysts

Financial Analyst Reviews Charts and Spreadsheets

Financial analysts, also called security analysts and investment analysts, analyze the financial situation of companies and recommend ways for these companies to manage, spend, and invest their money. The goal of financial analysts is to help their employer or clients make informed, lucrative financial decisions. They assemble and evaluate the company's financial data and assess investment opportunities. They look at the company's financial history, the direction that company wants to take in the future, the company's place in the industry, and current and projected economic conditions. Financial analysts also conduct similar research on companies that might become investment opportunities. They write reports and compile spreadsheets that show the benefits of certain investments or selling certain securities.

Among the businesses employing financial analysts are banks, brokerage firms, government agencies, mutual funds, and insurance and investment companies. There are approximately 268,360 financial analysts employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Buy-Side Analysts, Investment Analysts, Security Analysts, Sell-Side Analysts
Duties Analyze the financial situation of companies and recommend ways for these companies to manage, spend, and invest their money
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country, but the largest number of jobs are located in New York City
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Mathematics
Experience Two to three years' experience as a junior financial analyst
Personality Traits
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
  • Realistic
  • Business Management
  • Financial
  • Math
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Financial Manager, or Investment Banker, or Chief Financial Officer
  • Senior Financial Analyst
  • Financial Analyst
  • Research Assistant or Junior Financial Analyst