Everything you Need to Know to Become a Finance Analyst in 2021

Everything you Need to Know to Become a Finance Analyst in 2021 

With the economic instability and unemployment on the rise throughout 2020 and the beginning of 2021, one of the reasons that students are continuing to pursue their education is to help improve their chances of finding a job after graduation. Higher learning has become one of the simplest ways to remain competitive in a world where more and more jobs seem to be replaced by Artificial Intelligence. 


As most students are hoping to find employment in a field that they are passionate about, most graduates will be stuck searching for jobs that will provide just enough income to survive, but not enough income to be able to pay down their student debt or to begin saving for retirement immediately. Most graduates will have the burden of student debt for many years and will begin looking for higher paying jobs in the hopes of becoming financially stable. One of the positions that can provide financial stability is that of a Finance Analyst. Although it is not an easy job, it is one that is highly sought after as it provides an incredible salary right from the beginning and can be a job for life.

Finance Analyst Salary

As a Finance Analyst, your average yearly salary can vary drastically due to many factors such as experience, education and location. Usually, an individual who works as a Financial Analyst in Canada can expect to earn approximately $160,000 per year. The range in starting salaries vary between $86,000 to $240,000. After a successful 20+ year career as a Finance Analyst, it is quite common to have individuals making well over $1 million. 

There are also performance-based bonuses that are usually given out yearly, that can vary between 10% - 100% of your base salary, depending on your performance and how the overall market did that year.

So What does a Finance Analyst Actually Do?

Basically, a Finance Analyst will perform an in-depth analysis of a publicly traded company by analyzing and reviewing multiple financial metrics to gain a better understanding of the company’s profits, costs, revenues, debts, liabilities, and potential future growth. The Financial Analyst will then be able to make a valuation of the company and provide a recommendation to future and current shareholders whether this company is a good or bad investment. Typically, a Financial Analyst is well paid because they provide an outlook on profitability of a given company based on current trends and financial metrics. This allows them to predict if a company will be profitable in the future and allows shareholders to profit through the years. If a Financial Analyst can predict a company’s value at $50/share that is currently only trading for $15/share, then there is a potential to make a large profit of $35/share for shareholders.

Education 

To become a Financial Analyst, a university degree is a prerequisite as it provides some form of formal training that will help prepare you for this position. Most Financial Analysts also have an MBA and/or a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Designation. It is very rare to find someone in this field that does not have a CFA designation as this designation is an industry standard today. To become a Finance Analyst, you are expected to pass all three levels of the CFA and receive your CFA Designation.

Job Prospects

The amount of positions for a Finance Analyst tends to be in line with the profitability of the stock market. When markets are doing well, there is an increase in Finance Analyst positions. When the markets are not doing as well, there is a decrease in positions available. Keep in mind that although there might be more positions in good years, this is still a very competitive industry and therefore landing a position is not necessarily easy and requires a strong educational background and a strong understanding of financial instruments. 

Challenges

Some of the biggest drawbacks that come from being a Finance Analyst is the stress and the long hours that you are expected to work. You are expected to work long hours because you have the potential to make a decision that can put a lot of money at stake and making this decision requires many years of analysis to become an expert in this field.

Why Being a Finance Analyst is Worth It 

Even though you make a lot of money as a Finance Analyst, this is not a job that you do for the money. You truly need to enjoy crunching numbers and analyzing industries and appreciate the big picture as you will be doing this day over day for many years. You truly have to love this type of work as it is a job for life and there are many people counting on your findings to make accurate financial decisions. At the end of the day, it is both interesting and exciting work and it can be an incredible opportunity for the right person.

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**Disclaimer: Please note that I am not a certified financial planner/advisor nor am I a certified financial analyst. The contents of this blog post are purely for informational and entertainment purposes only and does not constitute financial, accounting, or legal advice. Please do your own research and do not make assumptions that everything found online is 100% accurate.

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