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Financial Careers: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
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.
Encouraging Retirement Savings
Auto-enrollment in 401(k) and other employee savings plans is now encouraged by federal law, but the effect on savings has been disappointing. Why?
What Are the Big Four in Public Accounting?
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.
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.
Lessons From The Millionaire Next Dooor
When leading financial firms were scrambling to recruit free-spending celebrities as clients, this book came as a cold slap in the face. It showed that most of the wealthy are otherwise very ordinary people (particularly small business owners) with one outstanding trait: frugality. The book caused a revolution in the thinking of many firms.
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.
How to Become a Financial Advisor
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.
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.
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 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.
Top 10 Job Types 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.
Margin Loans
Margin loans use securities as collateral.
What Is a CPA?
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.
FINRA
FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, has succeeded the NASD in testing and certifying various securities industry professionals. Learn about the major exams here.
Financial Planner
Financial planners pursue rewarding careers helping clients budget, save and set financial goals. Learn what it takes to enter and succeed in the field.
Everything You Need to Know About Careers in...
Overview of careers in retail and commercial banking.
Pay for Financial Jobs
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.
Financial Job Descriptions
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.
Top 22 Master's Programs for Financial...
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.
Merrill Edge
Combining and expanding upon online services offered separately by Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, Merrill Edge represents an important strategic move by the combined firms that attempts to exploit synergies.
The Pros and Cons of Jobs at Public Accounting...
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.
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.
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.
Insurance Careers
Insurance offers a variety of career opportunities. Here is a survey of the principal functions and jobs.
Academic Majors for Financial Careers
Here are notes on the courses of study and academic majors that best prepare you for financial careers, and which give you maximum flexibility.
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.
The Best Places for Financial Advisors to Work
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.
Corporate Travel Expense Rules and Restrictions
Corporate travel expense rules and restrictions involve weighing various tradeoffs. Learn how incorrect balancing can produce suboptimal results.
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.
Tontine
A tontine is a pool of money that goes to the last living person in a pool. Now illegal as a life insurance scheme, it may hold promise when applied to health insurance.
Accredited Investor or Qualified Investor
Some types of investments are available, by law and regulation, only to those called accredited investors or qualified investors, as explained here.
So, You Want to Be a Bank Teller? Read This First
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.
How to Detect Corporate Lies
How can you tell if a corporate executive is lying? Research has uncovered some telltale signs. Employees, investors and analysts should take note.
All About Careers in Corporate Treasury
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.
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.
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.
Investment Banker
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 Management Reporting?
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.
What Is a CFA?
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.
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.
Insurance Claims Adjusters
Insurance claims adjusters play the vital role of studying requests for payouts under insurance policies, then determining whether they should be honored or denied.
Federal Home Loan Banks
The Federal Home Loan Banks (FLHB) provide funding to lenders that offer mortgage, small business and agricultural loans. They are cooperatives owned and managed by member financial institutions.
Book of Business
Book of business is a common phrase referring to a client list.
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.
Why Economic and Financial Literacy are Important
Among political leaders, policy makers and news reporters, economic illiteracy is common, with dire implications for rational debate.
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.
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.
HSBC
HSBC is a major global banking and securities firm, with one of the most recognized brand names in banking around the world.
Financial Assets
Financial assets, also known as investable assets, are a normal measure of wealth for both individuals and households.
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.
Insurance Sales Agents
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.
Networking
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.
Private Banking
A definition of private banking, also sometimes called high net worth banking. Also describes the role of a private banker.
The Target Scandal and Financial Jobs
Hiring in financial firms related to data security may be boosted by the Target Stores data breach.
Abandoned Property Laws
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.
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.
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.
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.
Contingent Job Offers
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 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.
Compliance Departments
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.
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.
Merrill Lynch
jobs at merrill lynch. Financial Careers.
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.
Changing Jobs Internally
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.
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.
Tips for Changing Jobs
How can you advance your career through changing jobs? Here are the major dos and don'ts.
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.
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.
Primerica
Primerica is a leading life insurer with the largest sales force in the industry. It also trains far more agents than its competitors.
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.
Insurance Claims Examiners
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.
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.
Value of an MBA in Financial Careers
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.
Series 66
Series 66 Uniform Combined State Law Examination is the equivalent of taking both the Series 63 and Series 65 exams.
KPMG
KPMG, whose home office is in The Netherlands, is a member of the Big 4 group of leading public accounting firms.
Arrest Records
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.
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.
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.
Assistant Vice President
Assistant Vice President is an even more prevalent title in many financial services firms than Vice President.
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.
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.
Walmart MoneyCenters
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.
Best Financial Companies
Here is a short list of financial services firms that are regularly honored in surveys of the best places to work, along with the reasons why they are so cited.
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.
Rating Agencies
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.
MetLife's 'Dad's Accident': Worst Insurance Ad...
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Securities Trading Careers
Securities traders pursue a fast paced and often highly paying career at the center of the securities markets.
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.
PricewaterhouseCoopers
PricewaterhouseCoopers, based in London, is one of the Big 4 public accounting firms.
Money Manager
Money managers, investment managers and asset managers are highly-compensated financial professionals, with a fast-paced and stimulating work environment.
Tips for Choosing Employers
There are many considerations in choosing among potential employers. Here are the most important factors that should influence your decisions.
Financial Services in India
As the economy of India grows, so does the segment of the population that will be clients of banking, investment and insurance companies. Read here about the leading opportunities and risks surrounding the growth of the financial services industry in India.
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.
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.
Financial Advisor Credentials
Beyond regulatory requirements, financial advisors can improve their effectiveness by holding other credentials, qualifications and certifications that are discussed here.
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.
Protocol for Broker Recruiting
The Protocol for Broker Recruiting affects brokers and financial advisors who switch firms. Understanding its requirements is critical for practitioners in the field. Investors also would do well to learn its implications for them.
Insurance Investigators
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.
Trends in Branch Banking
The banking industry goes through cycles of opening and closing branches. This has huge implications for staffing levels.
Facebook Privacy
Facebook has come under increasing criticism for a dismissive and misleading attitude towards the privacy of users' personal information, culminating in its being sanctioned by the Federal Trade Commission in 2011. People who use Facebook and similar social media for career development should take numerous precautions.
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.
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.
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.
Insurance Underwriters
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.
CFA Review Courses
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.
Lawyers in Finance
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.
Peer to Peer Lending
Peer to peer lending (P2P) uses online platforms to bring borrowers and lenders together, bypassing the banks.
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.
Issues in Financial Management
A survey of key topics of interest to controllers, treasurers, CFOs and other financial managers.
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.
Insurance Appraisers
Insurance appraisers are experts in the valuation of property, such as automobiles, and give key expert input in the settling of insurance claims.
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.
Billable Hours in Consulting
Billable hours are a key metric in consulting, public accounting and legal firms, with important ramifications for pay and promotion.
How 1968 Changed Wall Street Forever
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.
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.
CGMA
The CGMA is a new designation that is supposed to indicate experience in management accounting.
Senior Executive Vice President
When financial services firms wish to create a hierarchy of Executive Vice Presidents, they may designate some as Senior Executive Vice Presidents.
CFO
CFO is a common abbreviation for Chief Financial Officer. The plural CFOs also can refer to Critical Few Objectives.
JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase is one of the top tier nationwide banks, which also has major securities operations.
Capital Budget
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.
Staff Utilization Rate in Consulting Firms
Utilization rate is a measure of productivity used by many public accounting and management consulting firms for evaluating and compensating staff.
Family Offices
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.
Restructuring Firms
Restructuring firms take charge of severely troubled or bankrupt companies, to reorganize or liquidate them. Some focus on the financial services industry, and offer intriguing career opportunities.
Regulatory Burdens on Small Banks
Do small banks receive unduly high regulatory scrutiny versus much larger rivals that vastly greater systemic risk? If so, why?
Stock Loan and Securities Lending
Lending shares of stock to facilitate short sales. Stock loan tends to be a highly profitable function.
Retail Client
The definition of retail business and retail clients, in the context of financial services. The significance of this terminology also is explained here.
Chartered Accountant
Chartered Accountant is the rough equivalent of a CPA in much of the English-speaking world.
Private Client
Private client is common financial services parlance for an extremely wealthy client, with key implications for levels of service.
Senior Vice President
As Vice Presidents proliferated, financial services firms looked to create further distinctions among them. Senior Vice President is one example.
Layaway Comeback
After years of decline, layaway plans are making a comeback.
Tuition Reimbursement Plans
A valuable employee benefit is a tuition reimbursement plan, which underwrites your efforts to advance by obtaining a new degree. If your company does not offer a program, consider negotiating for one.
Investor Satisfaction
Investor satisfaction with financial firms and financial advisors tend to be driven by a few factors. The wise financial advisor will pay close attention, and act accordingly.
Up or Out Policy
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FDIC
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, is the principal banking regulator in the U.S., and has varied employment opportunities, including internships, for those with expertise in finance, accounting, economics, law or information technology.
Investing in Art
Firms catering to high net worth clients often suggest fine art as an investment. Those firms that do so need various types of art experts either on staff or as consultants. Here's a survey of the key issues.
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.
Marketing Yourself
Marketing yourself effectively hinges on one crucial factor. See here what this is, and how it should influence how you write resumes and cover letters, as well as your interviewing technique.
George Washington on Leadership
A review of George Washington on Leadership, a book that draws case studies in effective leadership from the life of George Washington.
IRR
IRR, or Internal Rate of Return, is derived from NPV analysis and is used to analyze projects and investments.
Brokerage Branch Manager
A brokerage branch manager heads a brokerage office, supervising financial advisors and other personnel. The vast majority are promoted from the ranks of financial advisors.
Householding Accounts
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.
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.
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.
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.
Financial Outsourcing and Offshoring in India
Outsourcing and offshoring are major components of the economy in India, and the financial services industry is a significant contributor to this sector. Read here about the current trends and their implications for the industry and the country.
Martha Stewart
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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.
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.
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