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Financial Careers: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
What Are the Big Four in Public Accounting?
What are the Big Four Public Accounting Firms and what services do they offer? What career opportunities are there 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Issues in Financial Management
A survey of key topics of interest to controllers, treasurers, CFOs and other financial managers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Book of Business
Book of business is a common phrase referring to a client list.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is a Big Four public accounting firm. Here is a quick overview of its major lines of business and job opportunities.
Trends in Branch Banking
The banking industry goes through cycles of opening and closing branches. This has huge implications for staffing levels.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mad Money Jim Cramer
Who is "Mad Money" Jim Cramer: Why work in financial services? Jim Cramer entered the financial services
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.
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.
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?
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.
JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase is one of the top tier nationwide banks, which also has major securities operations.
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.
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?
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 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.
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.
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.
Securities Trading Careers
Securities traders pursue a fast paced and often highly paying career at the center of the securities markets.
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.
Up or Out Policy
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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.
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.
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.
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?
7 Ways That Worriers Work Better
Research shows that people who are disposed to worry, pessimism or skepticism are very good hires for certain jobs. Take a close look at yourself.
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.
Series 66
Series 66 Uniform Combined State Law Examination is the equivalent of taking both the Series 63 and Series 65 exams.
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.
Bluebird Prepaid Card
The Bluebird prepaid is a joint offering of Walmart and American Express that targets people without traditional banking relationships.
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.
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 a Private Client?
Private client is common financial services parlance for an extremely wealthy client, with key implications for levels of service.
Negotiating Your Salary
An important application of negotiation skills is in the matter of salaries and total compensation packages. Beware of ploys used by management.
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.
What Financial Careers Are Suitable for Lawyers?
The heavily regulated financial services industry employs large numbers of lawyers in various functions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Can You Earn Big Bucks at a Nonprofit?
While financial skills and experience are important for many career paths within the nonprofit sector, financial professionals typically presume that their opportunities to be paid adequately are minimal. This is not necessarily true, and leads many potential career switchers to rule out this possible avenue for their talents.
CGMA
The CGMA is a new designation that is supposed to indicate experience in management accounting.
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.
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.
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.
Vice President
Vice President is a common job title in the financial services industry. Here is what it means.
Invoice Discounting
Invoice discounting spurs fast payment of bills by customers. It also is a device to extend credit to suppliers.
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.
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.
Stock Loan and Securities Lending
Lending shares of stock to facilitate short sales. Stock loan tends to be a highly profitable function.
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.
Series 11
The Series 11 qualification allows sales assistants to accept and process unsolicited client orders.
Trends in Banking
A summary of important new trends and innovations in banking and lending.
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.
KPMG
KPMG, whose home office is in The Netherlands, is a member of the Big 4 group of leading public accounting firms.
Financial Advisor Credentials
Beyond regulatory requirements, financial advisors can improve their effectiveness by holding other credentials, qualifications and certifications that are discussed here.
What Does a CFO Do?
CFO is a common abbreviation for Chief Financial Officer. The plural CFOs also can refer to Critical Few Objectives.
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.
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.
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.
Private Banking
A definition of private banking, also sometimes called high net worth banking. Also describes the role of a private banker.
Layering
Layering is a market manipulation technique that is related to spoofing.
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management (formerly Morgan Stanley Smith Barney) boasts more financial advisors than any other U.S. based financial services firm, making it a primary destination for those pursuing careers in this field.
Best Colleges
Corporate recruiters rank the best colleges, by major.
How Much Do Consultants Earn?
Consultants in the employ of the most prestigious firms can command very impressive pay packages. Get the details here.
Ford Credit
Ford Credit, or Ford Motor Credit, exists exclusively to facilitate the purchase of vehicles produced by the Ford Motor Company and its subsidiaries.
What Rating Agencies Do
Credit rating agencies assess the financial strength of corporate and governmental entities. They provide excellent entry-level jobs in finance.
Severance Packages
When offered a voluntary severance package, you must weigh the potential risks and rewards of staying versus leaving. If offered an involuntary buyout, should you attempt to negotiate better terms, and what are your odds of succeeding? Some experts weigh in on this key issue.
The 80-20 Rule
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.
PricewaterhouseCoopers
PricewaterhouseCoopers, based in London, is one of the Big 4 public accounting firms.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tough Job Interview Questions
What you you say when posed a difficult job interview question? The most typical questions are relatively easy to anticipate, and here are videos featuring experts who can advise you.
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.
Engineers in Finance
Engineers are among those people with quantitative skills who in high demand within financial services and other financial careers.
Mobile Banking
Prepaid mobile phone (cell phone) credits are a common payment mechanism in developing countries with poor banking, mail and transport networks.
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.
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.
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.
Stock Research
Stock research and securities analysis involves the study of companies and their securities, producing recommendations on the desirability of investing in them.
MetLife's 'Dad's Accident': Worst Insurance Ad...
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Telecommuting in Finance
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.
What is a Repo?
A repo, or repurchase agreement, facilitates lending between financial institutions.
What is a Financial Solutions Advisor?
Financial solutions advisors in Bank of America branches help clients use brokerage and investment services. Similar positions are in other banks.

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