The finance sector is diverse with regards to the numerous available opportunities vis-a-vis the rewarding nature of the field. As such, an individual with a finance background has a range of options to choose from. Nonetheless, I am convinced that the two most rewarding careers in finance are an investment banking and the insurance industry.
An investment banker plays a fundamental role in assisting many other firms, as well as governmental entities with their financial requirements. The most basic role of the investment bankers in these large firms and institutions is to provide strategic advice, or help raise capital for the purpose of directing the growth of the companies. While this career path often seems too general in description, investment banking in itself has a number of career opportunities in which the investment banker is exposed to. Some of these opportunities include: mergers and acquisitions, underwriting, private equity, venture capital, and analyst jobs. As it is fairly evident from these functions, the investment banker requires in-depth knowledge of the market environment at all times, especially in this era where the financial environment shifts rapidly. Investment bankers utilize their financial background, and a lot of creativity to offer the most beneficial strategies for large institutions, as well as new and upcoming ambitious businesses (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015). As such, their value in the success of many such firms is absolute since their perspective is objective or unbiased.
Insurance agents help clients, corporations as well as individuals, to protect themselves against losses. An individual with financial education applies this knowledge to an analysis of the probability of risks that amount of loss. The various forms of insurance include property insurance, health insurance and life assurance. The insurance industry is a rewarding industry because almost all individuals realize the uncertainty of the future and the need to guard against any possible or potential loss. The importance of this industry is also reinforced by the occurrence of natural calamities such as floods or tsunamis. Though insurance agents are well known for the above functions, their expertise allows them to also be able to conduct financial sales, for instance mutual funds and annuities. The risk analysis part of this job means that the primary concern of the insurance agent is the future. In this regard, actuarial positions come in to provide the necessary reinforcement for this career. In general, the value of insurance agents for companies, and individuals, is to minimize any potential financial loss, which help maximize on every potentially profitable venture.
According to Association for Financial Professionals. (n.d) a successful career as an investment banker requires one to be of formidable intellect. A key function of the investment banker is to synthesize data from the financial environment and use it for the benefit of the companies he is working for. This requires strong intellect, especially one that emphasizes on mathematics, analytics, economics and finances. An intellect that encourages problem solving goes a long way towards the success of the firms whose finances are handled by the investment banker (Department of Finance, 2015). The entrepreneurial skills of the investment banker must be beyond reproach. This is because even though this career involves great rigor and structure, the innovation and creative ability of an investment banker is highly regarded.
Human skills such as communication skills and relationship building are also vital to the success of the investment banker. He or she must always convince the clients of the investments he advises them on, which requires good communication skills. Further, discipline is a skill in which a good investment banker must train himself or herself. While the career boasts of great financial rewards, little is spoken of the long working hours, and the constant pressure to perform for the client, as well as ones self. This requires diligence and, more importantly self-discipline.
A career as an insurance agent requires great communication skills. One must communicate the risks to the diverse group of clients, on a varied group of products. Further, the insurance agent also requires more than adequate entrepreneurial, as well as managerial, skills, especially if the agent has to build his or her own clientele. The work of the insurance agent, focuses on risk, and thus future events. This demands that the insurance agent must have, in addition to vast financial knowledge, the analytical skills necessary to predict the said risks that are associated with the insurance policies written. In-depth statistical analyses are vital to the success of the insurance industry(Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015).
I would advise an individual with financial education to pursue a career as an investment banker. This is because of the numerous opportunities that one gets exposed to over time. In addition, the entry into investment banking can be general, that is one does not need to be specialized in a particular area of investment banking to start a successful career. With appropriate experience and determination, one can learn and grow to be a prominent investment banker. A career in investment banking is both rewarding and offers the best option for growth as one acquires specializations and experience. The diversity of the various sectors within investment banking are an advantage for the individual who is willing to learn and become the best in the financial field.
Association for Financial Professionals. (n.d). Finance Careers and Certification. Association for Financial Professionals. Retrieved from http://www.afponline.org/.Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015).
Financial Analysts. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm.Department of Finance (2015).
Careers in Finance. Department of Finance. http://www.finance.wa.gov.au/cms/Careers/Careers_at_Finance.aspx.
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