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Financial Careers: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Overview of the Financial Services Industry
Financial careers and the financial services industry are exciting and rewarding options for high energy people. Look here for an overview of what the financial field encompasses and how it might be the right path for you.
What Is a CPA?
A CPA license, while required for only a select few career paths in finance, can enhance your credibility as a professional with quantitative skills.
All About Controller Careers
A controller exerts control over use of company funds and has a leading role in budgeting, reporting and the analysis of results. The job can have much broader, strategic responsibilities.
What Do All Those Job Titles Really Mean? Find...
How job titles in financial services relate to pay, advancement and career opportunity.
Should You Live to Work, or Work to Live?
Is your job the center of your life? Is career success the key driver of happiness for you? Or, is your job merely a way to earn a living? The answer has crucial implications for your career choices.
What Financial Advisor Careers Are All About
Financial advisors and financial consultants have fast-paced jobs with high pay potential. Learn about these jobs and how you can enter the field.
What Are the Big Four in Public Accounting?
The Big Four Public Accounting Firms are the leaders in accounting and auditing services, as well as major players in consulting and tax preparation.
Resume Keywords That Hurt You
Using tired buzzwords and cliches are bound to hurt you. Avoid these buzzwords and phrases, in writing and in interviews.
Everything You Need to Know About Careers in...
Considering a career in retail or commercial banking? Here is a survey of the key concepts and trends that you should know.
Should You Consider Starting a Career in Risk...
The importance of the risk management function is growing in tandem with the complexity of the financial system. Get the basics here on risk manager careers.
Jobs in Banking
Are you interested in a banking job? Banking is a core function within the financial services industry and banks are among the leading employers within the financial field. Here is a list of the principal job categories and employers within it.
What Does a Financial Planner Do?
Financial planners have rewarding careers helping clients budget, save and set financial goals. Learn what it takes to enter and succeed in the field.
Mutual Funds Accounting
Mutual funds accounting involves portfolio valuation, net asset value (NAV) calculation and client record keeping. It is a complex process that is vital to the operation of mutual fund companies.
Why You Should Choose a Career in Financial...
Leading reasons why financial services careers are an attractive option for ambitious people who look to get ahead quickly and enjoy a high earning potential.
Financial Assets
Financial assets, also known as investable assets, are a normal measure of wealth for both individuals and households.
Elder Care
For wealthy elderly clients and their families, an increasing number of banks, trust companies, family offices and private banking organizations are offering
What is NASDAQ
NASDAQ is the second-largest stock exchange in the world, by annual share value traded, behind the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE.
So, You Want to Be a Bank Teller? Read This First
What do bank tellers do, how do you become one, and what does the job pay? What is the employment outlook for tellers? Learn this and more right here.
What You Should Know About Loan Officer Jobs
A loan officer works for a bank, credit union or other financial institution that extends loans to individuals or business. A loan officer assists prospective borrowers in applying for loans and assessing their creditworthiness.
Career Paths in Insurance
Insurance offers a variety of career opportunities. Here is a survey of the principal functions and jobs.
The Pros and Cons of Jobs at Public Accounting...
Public accounting firms are vital cogs in the financial system as well as training grounds for top business talent in many industries.
What is a Financial Representative?
A financial representative is a type of financial professional, usually employed by life insurance companies, whose duties span those of insurance sales agents, financial advisers and/or financial planners.
Pay by Commissions
Financial advisors are traditionally paid on commissions. Here is a detailed discussion of what that means.
What Is Management Reporting?
Learn here what management reporting systems do and how they are developed and maintained. Tis is must reading for anyone in business and finance.
The Heart of Wall Street, the NYSE
The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is traditionally the trading venue of choice for the largest U.S. corporations, as well as for growing numbers of leading foreign companies.
Top 22 Master's Programs for Financial...
Financial engineering, a.k.a. mathematical finance, financial mathematics, quantitative or computational finance, applies advanced math to finance.
What is a Retail Client in Finance?
In financial services terminology, exactly what is a retail client or a small business client? What is the significance?
The Role of FINRA in the Securities Industry
FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, has succeeded the NASD in testing and certifying various securities industry professionals.
Insurance Sales Agent Careers
Insurance sales agents (insurance agents) sell one or more lines of insurance products, may engage in financial planning and selling various other investment products, much like a financial advisor.
Merrill Lynch Company Profile
Merrill Lynch is one of the most renowned names in the financial services industry. Here is a profile of the company for prospective employees.
Top 10 Investment Banking Firms in 2013
Here are the 2013 North American Investment Banking Prestige rankings from Vault.com, based on a survey of industry professionals.
What is a Broker Sales Assistant?
To manage a large book of business, a skilled broker sales assistant (or financial advisor sales assistant) is essential. Here are the basics about this important job.
Geographic Pay Differentials
Companies with far-flung operations often have salary scales that vary by location, to reflect regional variations in the cost of living and in general wage rates.
How to Become a Financial Advisor
Financial advisor is an attractive career option, but entering the field is challenging in many respects. Learn how to become a financial advisor.
Why Job Titles Really Do Matter
Job titles denote respect and authority. An unduly low title can undermine both. Here we discuss why this is true and what you should do about it.
All About Careers in Corporate Treasury
Corporate treasury is a fast-paced, highly-paid field related to investment banking and money management. Learn the basics about starting a career.
How to Become an Insurance Claims Adjuster
Insurance claims adjusters play the vital role of studying requests for payouts under insurance policies, then determining whether they should be honored or denied.
Issues in Financial Management
A survey of key topics of interest to controllers, treasurers, CFOs and other financial managers.
The Best Places for Financial Advisors to Work
The Financial Advisor Satisfaction Survey from J.D. Power offers insights into how financial advisors view their firms and where they prefer to work.
What is the Staff Utilization Rate in Consulting?
Utilization rate is a measure of productivity used by many public accounting and management consulting firms for evaluating and compensating staff.
What is a Financial Analyst?
The term financial analyst covers a broad range of positions in both financial management and financial services. Learn about opportunities and pay.
What is the Series 7 Exam?
Passing the Series 7 exam is the basic certification for financial advisors and investment advisors. Learn the essentials here about what the exam entails.
Operations Consulting
Operations consulting involves working with the client company to improve business processes. These case studies drawn from actual engagements with major banks illustrate the type of work and analysis involved.
What is a Promotion in Place?
When you receive a better job title while retaining the same position, this represents a promotion in place. This is a common scenario in may firms.
Dangers of Doing A Good Job
If you are in a position that requires you to stand in the way of politically powerful people, recognize that there are dangers of doing a good job.
First Vice President
As the Vice President title became too common, financial services firms began creating variants like First Vice President to stratify this management layer further.
Risk Management Certifications
As risk management grows in importance, some employers seek new hires with certain formal certifications, and may prompt existing employees to earn these credentials as well.
Assistant Vice President
Assistant Vice President is an even more prevalent title in many financial services firms than Vice President.
Career Prospects for Accountants and Auditors
Accountants and auditors are responsible for financial reporting, financial record keeping and the filing of tax returns. Here is a survey of the main branches of the field, compensation data and employment outlook.
Institutional Client
In the context of financial services, what is an institutional client, and what is its significance? This is an important piece of financial jargon to understand.
Producer and Support Jobs
Considerations in choosing between, and moving between, producer and support job categories in financial services firms.
Information Technology in Financial Services
Financial services information technology offers significant career opportunities since financial services companies are among the largest spenders on information technology and employers of IT personnel.
What Is a CFA?
Becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification can enhance a number of careers paths in finance. Learn about what the CFA entails here.
Careers in Investment Banking
An introduction to the types of work and industry trends in investment banking. The field ranges from securities issuance to mergers and acquisitions to business advisory services.
Financial Advisor Credentials
Beyond regulatory requirements, financial advisors can improve their effectiveness by holding other credentials, qualifications and certifications that are discussed here.
JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase is one of the top tier nationwide banks, which also has major securities operations.
What You Should Know About Job Offers With...
Contingent job offers have strings attached. They may be withdrawn based on various facts about you that may come to light later. Before accepting a job, be careful to understand these contingencies.
How to Choose Employers
There are many considerations in choosing among potential employers. Here are the most important factors that should influence your decisions.
Bank of America
Bank of America is a leading destination for careers in banking due to its nationwide footprint and extensive branch network. B of A also is a leader in securities brokerage and investment banking through its Merrill Lynch subsidiary. Read about the employment outlook at Bank of America.
Best Accounting Firms to Work For
A leading employment related resource has produced its 2014 rankings of the best accounting firms to work for. See this summary of the results, including the best firms along various specific dimensions. To the surprise of some, the Big Four do not fare entirely well.
Payday Loans
Payday loans are short term loans used by people who live from paycheck to paycheck. They tend to be a high cost source of financing, opening opportunities for new entrants with lower fee structures.
What is an Actuary?
Actuarial science is statistical analysis applied to assessing risks. Actuaries are highly paid and particularly vital to the insurance industry, though many other types of firms employ them. Learn about what the job entails, and how to enter the field.
What is a CGMA, and Why Become One?
The CGMA is a new professional credential that is designed to indicate experience in management accounting. Why and how should someone get this title?
Careers at Primerica
Primerica is a leading life insurer with the largest sales force in the industry. It also trains far more agents than its competitors.
BrokerCheck is an online public database maintained by FINRA for the benefit of the investing public. It contains background information on brokers, including qualifications and compliance issues.
Career Opportunities in Compliance
Compliance departments have a central role in financial services, and careers as compliance officers are attractive opportunities for people with legal, accounting and/or auditing backgrounds.
What are the Best Wealth Management Firms to...
Here are the leading wealth management firms, ranked by the profits from this function. Earnings related to wealth management tend to be stable.
What Do Insurance Underwriters Do?
Insurance underwriters evaluate applications for insurance, determine whether policies should be issued (written) and set premiums and other terms.
What is the Series 63 Exam?
The Series 63 exam demonstrates knowledge about state securities laws and regulations. Most states require financial advisors and investment advisors to hold this qualification.
What Does an Insurance Claims Examiner Do?
Insurance claims examiners are involved in scrutinizing claims for insurance payouts and assessing what, if anything, the policyholder should receive.
Job Overview of Branch Operations Managers
Branch operations managers are responsible for all the behind-the-scenes work that keeps a brokerage office running, such as building maintenance, communications and technology. Some firms call them branch service managers.
Series 66
Series 66 Uniform Combined State Law Examination is the equivalent of taking both the Series 63 and Series 65 exams.
What is a Private Client?
Private client is common financial services parlance for an extremely wealthy client, with key implications for levels of service.
Financial Advisor Career Paths
Financial advisors can find future careers in general management, as product or market segment specialists, or in money management. Some financial advisors find these attractive options.
Why the HP 12c is Still Used by Financial...
The HP 12c Financial Calculator remains a standard device for financial services professionals more than 30 years after its launch. Here's why.
Merrill Lynch Principles
The Merrill Lynch Principles are a model summary of company values and a condensed guide for professional conduct. They reflected the corporate culture at the time of formulation.
Psychology and Finance
The study of psychology has many applications in finance and in career management. Read on for a sampling of the principal ways that psychology can be used.
How Much Do Financial Jobs Pay?
Drawing from data collected by the federal government, here are some comparisons of pay by industry (including government) for representative job categories within the financial field.
What are Salary Ranges and Salary Brands?
Large employers typically have a highly formalized structure of job titles, job descriptions and the ranges of pay associated with them.
What is Big Four Consulting?
Big Four consulting practices rival the audit and tax business in terms of size and prestige at these leading public accounting firms.
The Best Financial Companies to Work For
Here are the financial services firms that are regularly honored in surveys of the best places to work, along with the reasons why they are so cited.
Career Opportunities in Consulting
Consulting firms seek to hire people with financial training and backgrounds, and also help to develop analytic skills in their staff that have wide application.
Compensation in Financial Services
Compensation in financial services tends to follow different norms than elsewhere in the economy. Here are some key facts to know.
Broker Payout Grid
The payout grid drives compensation for financial advisors, capturing the complex interplay of factors such as total sales, specific product sales and asset gathering. Here is an overview.
Trends in Branch Banking
The banking industry goes through cycles of opening and closing branches. This has huge implications for staffing levels.
What Job Descriptions Mean
Formal job descriptions often do not capture the full spectrum of responsibilities that the job holder is expected to fulfill. This is especially true with financial job descriptions.
Why is Walmart Entering Financial Services?
Walmart is making a big push serve low income individuals who are underserved by banks, offering low cost check cashing, payments and money transfers.
Best Way to Beat Hiring Software
As more and more companies use software to screen job applications and resumes, job applicants need to know ho to beat the hiring software. Here are top tips from a business professor who has devoted close study to this issue.
Why Take the Series 11 Exam?
The Series 11 qualification allows brokerage sales assistants to accept and process unsolicited client orders. This frees up financial advisor time.
What Do Billable Hours Mean in Consulting?
Billable hours are a key metric in consulting, public accounting and legal firms, with important ramifications for pay and promotion.
Risk Measurement
Given that risk management is a crucial function, growing in importance, in the financial services industry, familiarity with some of the basic measurements is vital. Here is an overview.
Vice President
Vice President is a common job title in the financial services industry. Here is what it means.
Who Should Become a CFP?
The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) credential is gaining utility beyond the scope of people who are full time financial planners. Learn the basics about the CFP here.
Financial Advisor Pay
Financial advisor pay plans have evolved significantly in recent years. Understanding the trends is equally important to financial services professionals and financial services clients.
Customer Service Problems
Case studies in poor customer service, and how customers are thus alienated.
Branch Sales Manager
Branch sales managers usually are former financial advisors and guide an office towards meeting targets for revenues, clients, assets and other metrics. The position is usually a first step for brokers transitioning into executive management.
Jobs at the Treasury Department
The U.S. Treasury Department has operations in tax collection, debt management, bank regulation, currency and coinage, and financial management for the federal government. Here is a discussion of the job opportunities.
Securities Trading Careers
Securities traders pursue a fast paced and often highly paying career at the center of the securities markets.
What Financial Careers Are Suitable for Lawyers?
The heavily regulated financial services industry employs large numbers of lawyers in various functions.
What is NPV?
Calculating NPV, or net present value, is a method for evaluating projects or investments, and a fundamental concept for all financial professionals.
Mark to Market Accounting
Mark to market accounting, also called fair value accounting, is the long established norm in much of the financial services industry, especially among securities firms. It has become a matter of intense debate in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
What is the Merrill Edge Service?
Merrill Edge combines and expands upon online services offered separately by Merrill Lynch and its parent, Bank of America.
What are Family Offices?
Family offices are specialized financial services firms that cater to the needs of extremely wealthy clients. They employ top financial professionals.
Continuing Financial Education at the NYIF
The New York Institute of Finance is a major resource for continuing education in banking and financial services, not just in NYC.
Raymond James
Raymond James is a full-service brokerage firm notable for a highly flexible approach to hiring financial advisors, with options ranging from employee to independent contractor relationships.
Pay by Flat Fee
Paying a financial advisor by a flat fee is often touted as a means to reduce or eliminate conflicts of interest.
Should You Take a CFA Review Course?
Becoming a CFA involves passing a long exam. Should you use self-study material, classroom instruction or study guides?
Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia during the 2008 financial crisis, gaining a major presence in the east, in both banking and securities. Here we give a look back at the pre-acquisition state of Wachovia.
What are Production Credits in Finance?
Production Credits are key metric used by many leading securities brokerage firms in computing Financial Advisor compensation. Here's how they work.
KPMG, whose home office is in The Netherlands, is a member of the Big 4 group of leading public accounting firms.
Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo is a nationwide leader in retail and commercial banking, as well as in securities brokerage and investment banking. Learn about the company and the outlook for careers within it.
Career Profile: Brokerage Operations
Brokerage operations concerns moving cash and securities to settle trades, plus the associated record keeping for clients and brokerage firms alike.
What is Finance?
Exactly what is finance? What are its main branches? How does it fit into the economy and the management of organizations? Look here for the answers.
High Net Worth
High Net Worth is one of the terms used in financial services to denote a very wealthy client.
Book of Business
Book of business is a common phrase referring to a client list.
8 Elements of Islamic Finance
Islamic finance satisfies Muslim prohibitions on interest and on speculation that amounts to gambling. It is an alternative to Western bonds and banking for conservative Muslims.
Family Office Statistics
The family office sector, while serving a highly desirable demographic, nonetheless faces a number of serious challenges to its business model. Here is a digest of key statistics related to the sector.
Researching Jobs With BLS Data
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a valuable resource for job seekers and career changers, especially with its information on hiring trends and pay.
What are Margin Loans?
Margin loans are a common method of financing used by investors and extended by brokerage firms. Here are the basics on what margin lending entails.
The Kovel Rule
The Kovel Rule is a legal principle that extends lawyer-client confidentiality to include other sources of expert advice, most notably accountants. The IRS has been moving aggressively to limit the applicability of the Kovel Rule.
Corporate Budgeting Departments and Processes
Corporate budgeting departments assemble budgets and monitor progress during the year. Working in such a group can open further career opportunities.
Bluebird Prepaid Card
The Bluebird prepaid is a joint offering of Walmart and American Express that targets people without traditional banking relationships.
What is an Up or Out Policy?
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Computer Software for Finance
To be effective from day one in a financial job, you should have expertise with certain computer software packages. Here's what you need to know.
Goldman Sachs Profile
Goldman Sachs is a powerhouse in investment banking, asset management and in financial services for ultra-wealthy individuals. A spot in its internship program is highly prized.
Senior Vice President
As Vice Presidents proliferated, financial services firms looked to create further distinctions among them. Senior Vice President is one example.
Jackson Hewitt
Jackson Hewitt is the number two U.S. tax preparation firm by the number of tax returns prepared. Most of its offices are franchised.
What Are High Net Worth Specialists?
Some firms utilize high net worth specialists to help generalist financial advisors in serving the unique needs of high net worth clients.
Why Financial Firms Care About Households
Financial services companies, especially banks and securities brokerages, seek to group associated accounts into so-called households for the purposes of analysis and client service.
Careers at Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual is a leading life insurer, renowned for high satisfaction among clients and salespeople, and a top sales internship program.
What is the IRR or Internal Rate of Return?
IRR, or Internal Rate of Return, is derived from NPV analysis and is used to analyze projects and investments.
What is Asset Gathering in Finance?
Asset gathering is a primary strategic imperative of securities brokerage firms, since a key driver of profitability are client assets in custody. Learn how the process works.
What Does a CFO Do?
CFO is a common abbreviation for Chief Financial Officer. The plural CFOs also can refer to Critical Few Objectives.
What are the Largest Family Offices?
Family offices are boutique financial firms that serve the ultra-wealthy and hire top talent. Here are the largest family offices in the U.S.
How Much Does a Financial Manager Earn?
Financial managers are employed by a broad range of businesses, nonprofits and government entities. The field can be exciting and high paying.
What is a Capital Budget?
A capital budget (capital assets budget) is a spending plan for capital assets that produce income or support business operations over many years.
Charles Schwab
Charles Schwab is a pioneering discount brokerage firm based in San Francisco. It remains a leader in the field, and has added additional service lines plus a branch office network.
How Big Are Signing Bonuses in Finance?
Signing bonuses are used to entice high value recruits. Normally a lump sum paid at the start of employment, they also may include deferred performance-linked payouts.
Jobs at Deloitte
Deloitte (Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu) is a Big 4 public accounting and consulting firm. The world's largest professional services firm by revenue, it has aggressive hiring plans for 2011-2012.
In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Citigroup has sold off many of its subsidiaries outside its core Citibank unit.
Consolidation of the Financial Industry
The financial services industry is becoming more consolidated and concentrated, along several dimensions. What are the implications for your career?
Why Pay a Financial Advisor by Net Worth and...
Basing financial advisor or investment advisor fees on a combination of clients' nets worth and income can be mutually advantageous in some cases.
Jobs in Accounting
Are you interested in an accounting job? Accounting is a vital function within private industry, nonprofits and government alike. It also is a major category of employment within the financial field. Here is a list of the principal job categories related to accounting, the employers within it, and the training necessary.
Overview of the Goldman Sachs Junior Analyst...
The Goldman Sachs junior analyst program has been a ticket to a lucrative Wall Street career in investment banking. Faced with cutbacks in the program, prospective applicants are concerned.
Why Take the Series 65 Exam?
The Series 65 Uniform Investment Adviser Law Exam tests knowledge of state securities laws as well as basic competency in investment vehicles and strategies.
Transfer Pricing
Sophisticated management reporting systems tend to include transfer pricing methodologies. Familiarity with the concepts behind transfer pricing is essential for financial analysts, controllers and aspiring chief financial officers.
A Dress Code for Finance
UBS has found the need to produce a highly specific dress code for retail bankers in Switzerland. The elements of this code are worth adopting by anyone who needs to look professional.
CFP Review Courses
One can prepare for the CFP exam for Certified Financial Planners through self-study, but formal CFP review courses (CFP test prep) have advantages. Here are tips for choosing among courses.
Top Financial Mathematics Programs 2014
A 2014 ranking of the top degree programs in financial mathematics, also known by various other titles, such as financial engineering.
What Do Insurance Investigators Do?
Insurance investigators are in-house private detectives whose special skills are utilized in processing claims where fraud or criminal conduct is suspected. This key function offers potentially exciting career opportunities.

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