Financial analysis is a strategic function for all companies. Whether in the administrative and economic department, in the management of an asset portfolio, or in a consulting firm, it is thanks to an accurate and informed financial analysis that it is possible to make the right decisions.
Becoming a financial analyst requires solid skills and developed soft skills. These are qualities that are taught in management schools.
The role and tasks of the financial analyst
The primary function of the financial analyst is to assess a company’s financial situation and to find strategic solutions to achieve the company’s objectives. This can be cost reduction, tax optimisation, successful divestment, merger or acquisition, or new product or market development. In banking, insurance, or asset management, the analyst must also monitor market movements and industry trends to assess the performance of investments.
It is an exciting job that has changed significantly in recent years and now relies on good data, algorithms, and mathematical modeling knowledge.
Financial analysts can work for many companies. These include banks, insurance companies, stockbrokers, audit and consulting firms, and financial services companies. The list is long, as even large companies recruit financial analysts internally to advise management on the right decisions based on a market or sector’s risks, trends, and challenges.
- The daily tasks of the financial analyst include:
- Collecting financial data.
- Analysing and monitoring the financial situation of companies (own or clients’ or competitors’).
- Risk assessment.
- Identifying investment opportunities.
- Drafting economic forecasts and financing scenarios, as well as analysis reports.
The qualities needed to become a financial analyst
It is essential to like figures, finance, and the financial world to work in economic analysis. It is a rigorous profession where the ability to synthesise and analyse is crucial. Indeed, the financial analyst must sometimes ingest a lot of data, read dense reports, and exchange with experts to rationalise and explain complex situations. Becoming a financial analyst also requires knowledge of the stock market and monetary system, mastery of most financial instruments and products, comfort with financial analysis and data management software, and the ability to formulate clear and compelling advice.
While hard skills are critical, the job of a financial analyst also relies on soft skills that play an essential role, such as.
- Being well organised and systematic.
- Being particularly rigorous in the management of your files.
- Sound judgment and discernment.
- Ability to handle stress and pressure.
- Work well in a team and collaborate effectively.
- Communicate with precision and benevolence to provide appropriate advice
What studies should I do to become a financial analyst?
In general, having at least a 5-year degree with a specialisation in finance is necessary. Recruiters highly value management school courses as a route to becoming a financial analyst, as the courses are highly specialised, particularly in market finance and risk management, but also because of the emphasis on soft skills.
The financial analysis must also evolve with the times and follow market developments. Thus, an education that integrates innovations in finance and markets such as fintech, blockchain technology, or cryptocurrencies will have the best guarantees of success for students.
In any case, taking a finance specialisation in business school requires a mastery of the fundamentals of mathematics and statistics.
Among the courses frequently studied are financial mathematics, financial market analysis, sustainable finance, financial risk management, financial and stock market instruments, merger, acquisition and disposal management, etc.
Co-designed with financial engineering teachers from ESILV, Devinci Higher Education’s engineering school, this specialisation integrates innovations in finance and markets such as Fintech, Blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, etc.
It is a master’s programme that welcomes international students and reproduces the multicultural and international atmosphere of the major global financial centers.
Learn more about EMLV’s Master in Management specialisation in Market Analysis & Finance