Financial analysts have a great responsibility. They are accountable for the manipulation of large sums of money belonging to corporations, institutions and individuals. Although the analyst may not be in direct control of the money, the detailed reports and recommendations made by these trusted professionals may shape a company’s economic future.
Certified financial analysts, also known as chartered financial analysts, can change the flow of a company’s stock sales simply by recommending the purchase or sale of a particular issue. Some analysts publish their reports and detailed interpretations in newspapers, magazines, and online in financial websites. Others work within large investment firms as advisors and researchers. Stock brokerage companies employ analysts to advise customers and to help direct the companies’ stock and bond market dealings. Financial analysts also work within large corporations, as part of the financial strategy teams.
Because of the many possibilities of damaging, or even dishonest dealings, financial analysts are very closely monitored and regulated. In most places, it is almost impossible to work as an analyst in the financial field without professional or governmental certification. The testing process for the professional financial analyst certificate is very thorough. Successful analysts are expected to have a deep knowledge of investment theory and procedures. Candidates are tested on a wide variety of fiduciary instruments such as stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit and others. They are also examined on questions of professional ethics and regulations. In addition, they must show skill in financial accounting, basic business theory and portfolio management.