Financial Careers: Most Popular Articles
The Big Four are the top public accounting firms in size and prestige. They audit the largest corporations and nonprofits, offer consulting services, and have much to recommend as employers.
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.
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.
How job titles in financial services relate to pay, advancement and career opportunity.
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.
Financial advisor careers offer a past-paced work environment and high earnings potential. Read on for the basics on what's entailed and how to become a financial advisor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A CPA license, while required for only a select few career paths in finance, can open doors and enhance your credibility as someone who has quantitative skills and a professional outlook.
Margin loans use securities as collateral.
Overview of careers in retail and commercial banking.
Public accounting firms are vital cogs in the financial system and highly-regarded training grounds for professionals throughout the financial services industry, as well as in other industries.
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.
Insurance offers a variety of career opportunities. Here is a survey of the principal functions and jobs.
With the current upward trend in bank branches, job prospects for bank tellers are generally favorable. Becoming a teller is a common entry-level route into the banking industry.
Performance based pay not only is supposed to be a reward for past work, but also a spur to future productivity. How successful is it in this regard?
Financial engineering applies advanced mathematical techniques to problems like the design of complex securities and the development of trading and investment strategies. Also known as mathematical finance, financial mathematics, quantitative finance or computational finance, financial engineering is the focus of specialized master's degree programs.
Financial planners pursue rewarding careers helping clients budget, save and set financial goals. Learn what it takes to enter and succeed in the field.
Financial assets, also known as investable assets, are a normal measure of wealth for both individuals and households.
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.
Here are the 2013 North American Investment Banking Prestige rankings from Vault.com, based on a survey of industry professionals.
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.
The annual Financial Advisor Satisfaction Survey from J.D. Power and Associates offers useful insights into how financial advisors view their firms and where they prefer to work.
Telecommuting is a big trend in the general economy, as well as in financial services. The savings of commuting time and money may be offset by the career downside of reduced face time.
A critical function performed by controllers, chief financial officers and their staffs is the development, maintenance and utilization of management reporting systems. While management reporting often focuses on financial data, such as revenues, expenses and profits, it also can include a variety of non-financial metrics that are barometers of the firm's health. Analysis of the data tracked by these systems is a significant part of the value added by people in these functional areas.
The CGMA is a new designation that is supposed to indicate experience in management accounting.
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.
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.
Corporate treasury manages daily cash flows and finds the best ways to meet company funding needs. This fast-paced, highly-paid field combines aspects of investment banking and money management.
Insurance claims adjusters play the vital role of studying requests for payouts under insurance policies, then determining whether they should be honored or denied.
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.
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.
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.
Advances in background searches are making it very hard to hide incidents from your past. Getting an arrest record officially expunged may be needed to preserve your employability.
FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, has succeeded the NASD in testing and certifying various securities industry professionals. Learn about the major exams here.
As the Vice President title became too common, financial services firms began creating variants like First Vice President to stratify this management layer further.
Primerica is a leading life insurer with the largest sales force in the industry. It also trains far more agents than its competitors.
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.
Securities traders pursue a fast paced and often highly paying career at the center of the securities markets.
The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification is a credential that can enhance a number of careers paths in finance. Learn about what the CFA entails here.
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.
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.
Ernst & Young is a Big Four public accounting firm. Here is a quick overview of its major lines of business and job opportunities.
Series 66 Uniform Combined State Law Examination is the equivalent of taking both the Series 63 and Series 65 exams.
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.
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.
Compensation in financial services tends to follow different norms than elsewhere in the economy. Here are some key facts to know.
The banking industry goes through cycles of opening and closing branches. This has huge implications for staffing levels.
Passing the Series 7 exam is the basic certification for financial advisors and investment advisors. Learn the essentials here about what the exam entails.
Assistant Vice President is an even more prevalent title in many financial services firms than Vice President.
The heavily regulated financial services industry has large legal and compliance staffs. Legal backgrounds are also valuable for a large number of other financial career paths as well.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
Book of business is a common phrase referring to a client list.
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.
Utilization rate is a measure of productivity used by many public accounting and management consulting firms for evaluating and compensating staff.
A survey of key topics of interest to controllers, treasurers, CFOs and other financial managers.
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 definition of retail business and retail clients, in the context of financial services. The significance of this terminology also is explained here.
Calculating NPV, or net present value, is a method for evaluating projects or investments. An application of the Time Value of Money, it is a fundamental concept for all financial professionals.
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.
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.
Here is a handy summary and overview of the most important training needed for financial careers, including degrees, certifications and categories of experience.
jobs at merrill lynch. Financial Careers.
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.
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.
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.
Billable hours are a key metric in consulting, public accounting and legal firms, with important ramifications for pay and promotion.
Financial advisor pay plans have evolved significantly in recent years. Understanding the trends is equally important to financial services professionals and financial services clients.
A definition of private banking, also sometimes called high net worth banking. Also describes the role of a private banker.
KPMG, whose home office is in The Netherlands, is a member of the Big 4 group of leading public accounting firms.
Networking is vital for finding jobs and advancing. It also is a key way to increase your knowledge and get help with job-related issues and problems. Learn how here.
A survey of key topics of interest to risk managers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Family offices are specialized financial services firms that cater to the needs of extremely wealthy clients. They offer attractive employment opportunities for top financial professionals.
Walmart is making a big push serve low income individuals who are underserved by banks, offering low cost check cashing, payments and money transfers. The Walmart MoneyCenters and its small business lending program are cementing the loyalty of its customer base. Walmart already has a large network of fully fledged bank branches in Mexico.
Beyond regulatory requirements, financial advisors can improve their effectiveness by holding other credentials, qualifications and certifications that are discussed here.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, based in London, is one of the Big 4 public accounting firms.
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.
JPMorgan Chase is one of the top tier nationwide banks, which also has major securities operations.
IRR, or Internal Rate of Return, is derived from NPV analysis and is used to analyze projects and investments.
The Series 65 Uniform Investment Adviser Law Exam tests knowledge of state securities laws as well as basic competency in investment vehicles and strategies.
The Washington Monument Ploy is a scheme used to rescind budget cuts.
Brokerage operations concerns moving cash and securities to settle trades, plus the associated record keeping for clients and brokerage firms alike.
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.
Money managers, investment managers and asset managers are highly-compensated financial professionals, with a fast-paced and stimulating work environment.
Case studies in poor customer service, and how customers are thus alienated.
Becoming a CFA involves passing a long exam, and the CFA Institute offers self-study materials. Some prefer additional classroom instruction and/or study guides. Here is a survey of the options.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Insurance appraisers are experts in the valuation of property, such as automobiles, and give key expert input in the settling of insurance claims.
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.
Prepaid mobile phone (cell phone) credits are a common payment mechanism in developing countries with poor banking, mail and transport networks.
Freeconomics is a new term describing an old marketing strategy, the selective giving away of free or heavily discounted merchandise or services in hopes of stimulating more sales in the future.
A case study in abominable customer service. What happens when a company cuts corners in systems infrastructure and in customer service talent.
Allstate is the largest publicly-held personal lines insurer in the U.S., offering auto, property, life and commercial policies, plus retirement, investment and banking services. The brand has wide name recognition from decades of advertising.
Credit rating agencies are key players in the financial markets, assessing the ability of corporate and governmental borrowers to incur and service debt, and the interest rate cost that they face. They are major employers and trainers of people in the field of securities research and securities analysis.
Lending shares of stock to facilitate short sales. Stock loan tends to be a highly profitable function.
Peer to peer lending (P2P) uses online platforms to bring borrowers and lenders together, bypassing the banks.
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 internships are highly prized educational experiences and resume-enhancers. They also open doors to the best full-time entry-level positions in the industry.
A summary of important new trends and innovations in banking and lending.
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.
The Series 11 qualification allows sales assistants to accept and process unsolicited client orders.
Here is a list of vital publications that will keep you informed about the financial industry, alert to job opportunities, and poised to advance your career.
A poor credit history or credit score can be a bar to employment in some cases. A political backlash against this practice is growing.
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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.
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.
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.
A long term trend towards automation of the securities industry has had an especially negative impact on employment in brokerage operations.
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.
CFO is a common abbreviation for Chief Financial Officer. The plural CFOs also can refer to Critical Few Objectives.
A common error in changing jobs internally is not preparing for the transition. Others are not knowing the management style of your new superiors, or the new organization's culture.
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., among those serving multiple families.
A capital budget (capital assets budget) sets a plan for spending on capital assets that will produce income or support business operations over a number of years.
The 80-20 rule is a popular and often useful guide to time management and resource management. In brief, selective investment of time, effort and money can produce outsize returns.
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.
The Bluebird prepaid is a joint offering of Walmart and American Express that targets people without traditional banking relationships.
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.
The 1968 Wall Street paperwork crunch was a major financial crisis that had many lasting effects. Revisit them to see how we got where we are today.
As Vice Presidents proliferated, financial services firms looked to create further distinctions among them. Senior Vice President is one example.
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.
A budget exercise is common business parlance for an emergency cost-cutting effort.
Private equity funds charge a variety fees to investors and portfolio companies alike. Here is a summary of the most common types of such fees.
Private equity investing does not involve the public securities markets. Instead, private equity firms finance private companies, and arrange private placements for public companies.
Private client is common financial services parlance for an extremely wealthy client, with key implications for levels of service.
In judging the value of an MBA in financial careers, you need to consider various factors, including your expected return on investment. Get the details here.
The Series 63 exam demonstrates knowledge about state securities laws and regulations. Most states require financial advisors and investment advisors to hold this qualification.
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.
A quant lends expertise in advanced mathematical techniques to problems in finance, trading and investing.
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.
Scrutinizing financial records and transactions as part of a criminal investigation or in support of a civil lawsuit is often called forensic accounting.
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Invoice discounting spurs fast payment of bills by customers. It also is a device to extend credit to suppliers.
Abandoned property laws require banks, investment firms and insurance companies to make state governments the owners of dormant accounts or unclaimed payouts due on insurance policies. This is growing into a major compliance issue for insurers.
The New York Institute of Finance is a major resource for continuing education in banking and financial services. Founded in 1922, the NYIF has locations outside New York City, as well as distance learning opportunities.
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.
Working Mother Magazine names the best companies for working moms each September. Finance and insurance companies regularly dominate the list. Here are some recent results.