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Financial Careers: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Is Salary Transparency a Good Thing?
Most employers are secretive about pay, for good and bad reasons alike. Calls for greater salary transparency are gaining support in unlikely places.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
H&R Block
H&R Block is the international leader in tax preparation, with a significant footprint in Canada, the U.K. and Australia. A significant number of H&R Block's U.S. offices are franchises.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Career Paths in Insurance
Insurance offers a variety of career opportunities. Here is a survey of the principal functions and jobs.
Financial Assets
Financial assets, also known as investable assets, are a normal measure of wealth for both individuals and households.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Does it Take to Become an Insurance...
Insurance underwriters perform the essential analytic work of evaluating applications for insurance, determining whether policies should be issued (written) and setting premiums and other terms.
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.
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.
Are Community Banks Still Relevant?
In order to compete against national mega-banks, small community banks are finding it necessary to forge alliances with other competitors.
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.
Assistant Vice President
Assistant Vice President is an even more prevalent title in many financial services firms than Vice President.
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.
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.
Debt Securities
As the result of financial innovation, the types of debt securities, debt instruments and bond types have been growing briskly in recent decades.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Top Wealth Management Firms
Here are the leading wealth management firms, ranked by the profits attributable to this function. The stability of earnings related to wealth management is causing several major firms to reconsider their commitment to riskier and more volatile lines of business.
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.
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.
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.
What Wayne Rogers Has Been Doing After M*A*S*H
How did Wayne Rogers transition from actor (best known for M*A*S*H) to money manager and financial pundit? What lessons are there for you?
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?
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.
Book of Business
Book of business is a common phrase referring to a client list.
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.
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.
JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase is one of the top tier nationwide banks, which also has major securities operations.
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.
What Does a Claims Examiner Do?
Insurance claims examiners perform a role similar to insurance claims adjusters, scrutinizing claims for insurance payouts and assessing what, if anything, the client should receive.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Layaway
Layaway plans are an old means for helping consumers to finance purchases without incurring debt. Virtually extinct for several decades, major retailers are reviving it in response to pubic demand.
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.
Mad Money Jim Cramer
Who is "Mad Money" Jim Cramer: Why work in financial services? Jim Cramer entered the financial services
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.
Series 7
Passing the Series 7 exam is the basic certification for financial advisors and investment advisors. Learn the essentials here about what the exam entails.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Series 65
The Series 65 Uniform Investment Adviser Law Exam tests knowledge of state securities laws as well as basic competency in investment vehicles and strategies.
Production Credits
Production Credits are a type of metric used by many leading securities brokerage firms in computing Financial Advisor compensation. Understanding the concept is critical to understanding how the industry operates.
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.
Trends in Branch Banking
The banking industry goes through cycles of opening and closing branches. This has huge implications for staffing levels.
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.
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.
BrokerCheck
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.
Product Management
Product management is a central interdisciplinary function in many companies, often a fast-paced and exciting job that opens doors to other career options.
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.
What Rating Agencies Do
Credit rating agencies assess the financial strength of corporate and governmental entities. They provide excellent entry-level jobs in finance.
Managing Expectations
Managing expectations is a key to success. Doing it successfully is a delicate balancing act, avoiding both over-promising and setting unduly low expectations that are easily exceeded.
Big Four Consulting
Large public accounting firms, most notably the Big Four, have large consulting practices that rival their audit and tax business in terms of size and prestige.
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.
Public Finance
Public finance encompasses both financial management in government entities and the raising of funds to support their activities. The field includes a number of financial career specialities and is filled with career opportunities.
Financial Products
: In common usage, a product is a tangible good. However, as used in the financial services industry
FTSE
The FTSE indexes track the price movements of the largest companies (by market value) on the London Stock Exchange. They are widely quoted indicators of non-U.S. equity prices.
What Is a Sponsor, And What Can One Do For You?
Everyone knows (or should know) what a mentor is, and the value of cultivating one. But what is a sponsor, and what can such a person do for you?
Training for Financial Careers
Here is a handy summary and overview of the most important training needed for financial careers, including degrees, certifications and categories of experience.
Developing Public Speaking Skills
The image of financial professionals as strictly numbers people is false. Advancement within many sectors of the financial services industry and the financial discipline also require excellent communications skills, including facility with public speaking and making presentations.
Series 66
Series 66 Uniform Combined State Law Examination is the equivalent of taking both the Series 63 and Series 65 exams.
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.
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.
CGMA
The CGMA is a new designation that is supposed to indicate experience in management accounting.
Issues in Financial Management
A survey of key topics of interest to controllers, treasurers, CFOs and other financial managers.
Securities Trading Careers
Securities traders pursue a fast paced and often highly paying career at the center of the securities markets.
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.
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.
Purchase Order Financing
Purchase order financing is a way for cash-poor resellers or distributors of hard goods to raise the funds to pay the manufacturers of these goods in a timely fashion.
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.
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.
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.
Bank Branch Closures
As a whole, the banking industry is accelerating its closure of branches, especially in less populated and less wealthy locales. The trend is being reinforced by the increasing preference of consumers for doing their banking remotely and electronically. Get the details here on the latest developments.
Financial Advisor Credentials
Beyond regulatory requirements, financial advisors can improve their effectiveness by holding other credentials, qualifications and certifications that are discussed here.
Merrill Lynch Company Profile for Prospective...
Merrill Lynch is one of the most renowned names in the financial services industry. Here is a profile of the company for prospective employees.
What Should You Consider Before Changing Jobs?
How can you advance your career through changing jobs? Here are the major dos and don'ts.
Series 63
The Series 63 exam demonstrates knowledge about state securities laws and regulations. Most states require financial advisors and investment advisors to hold this qualification.
Series 11
The Series 11 qualification allows sales assistants to accept and process unsolicited client orders.
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.
Prudential Insurance
Prudential Insurance is a leading life insurer well-known for its Rock of Gibraltar logo. It also has a real estate brokerage division.
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 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.
What Financial Careers Are Suitable for Lawyers?
The heavily regulated financial services industry employs large numbers of lawyers in various functions.
How to Dress For Interviews
Today many people, especially the young, come to job interviews dressed unprofessionally and ruin their chances. Here experts in fashion and interviewing offer vital advice on dressing properly.
Securities Underwriting
Securities underwriting is one of the primary functions and principal career paths within investment banking. Here is some important background information on this special field.
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.
Senior Vice President
As Vice Presidents proliferated, financial services firms looked to create further distinctions among them. Senior Vice President is one example.
Stock Loan and Securities Lending
Lending shares of stock to facilitate short sales. Stock loan tends to be a highly profitable function.
Bad Customer Service
A case study in abominable customer service. What happens when a company cuts corners in systems infrastructure and in customer service talent.
Money Manager
Money managers, investment managers and asset managers are highly-compensated financial professionals, with a fast-paced and stimulating work environment.
Financial Internships
Financial internships are highly prized educational experiences and resume-enhancers. They also open doors to the best full-time entry-level positions in the industry.
Customer Service Problems
Case studies in poor customer service, and how customers are thus alienated.
What Does a CFO Do?
CFO is a common abbreviation for Chief Financial Officer. The plural CFOs also can refer to Critical Few Objectives.
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.
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.
Signing Bonuses
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.
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.
Vice President
Vice President is a common job title in the financial services industry. Here is what it means.
Mobile Banking
Prepaid mobile phone (cell phone) credits are a common payment mechanism in developing countries with poor banking, mail and transport networks.
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.
Financial Advisor Training
Formal financial advisor training programs are being scaled back, so becoming a trainee financial advisor poses more challenges for people looking to enter this career path. Here are some tips.
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.
Trends in Banking
A summary of important new trends and innovations in banking and lending.
What is Wall Street exactly?
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Wachovia
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 the DTCC Does
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) is a vital cog in the international financial system, and a very highly-paying employer. Read here about its role and career opportunities with it.
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.
What is Supply Chain Analysis?
How are a given company's financial results affected by the actions of suppliers and customers? This is what supply chain analysis looks to determine.
Bottom Up Forecasting and Budgeting Methods and...
Bottom up forecasting and budgeting methods and processes take estimates at low levels and add them up to produce the figures for higher aggregates.
Ally Financial
GMAC is now called Ally Financial. Ally Financial offers not only automotive finance, but also real estate and mortgage financing (ResCap), insurance, commercial financing and online banking.
Best Executive MBA Programs
Is your employer offering to send you to an Executive MBA (EMBA) program? Here is a recent survey of the best ones.
Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley is a major diversified financial services firm, including financial advisory services, asset management, investment banking and securities trading. The recent acquisition of Smith Barney has enhanced its retail brokerage business, originally the result of a 1997 merger with Dean Witter.
Up or Out Policy
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Are Consultants Truly Independent?
Consultants theoretically are hired to offer unbiased, independent and expert advice. In some cases, the outcome of their work may be predetermined.
Invoice Discounting
Invoice discounting spurs fast payment of bills by customers. It also is a device to extend credit to suppliers.
Designing Incentive Systems
Incentive systems, if poorly designed, may reward behaviors that ultimately harm the firm. Anticipating all the probable effects is thus crucial.
Layering
Layering is a market manipulation technique that is related to spoofing.
PricewaterhouseCoopers
PricewaterhouseCoopers, based in London, is one of the Big 4 public accounting firms.
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.
Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual is a leading life insurance company based in Milwaukee. It is renowned for high satisfaction among clients and salespeople, and a highly-regarded sales internship program.
Lehman Brothers
The failure of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 triggered a major financial crisis. The firm is in liquidation. Much of its surviving North America operations were acquired by Barclays.

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