Financial services is an industry that includes a wide range of professional firms providing banking, investing, insurance and other related products. This sector is crucial to the world economy, affecting businesses and individuals alike. Its health is an indicator of the strength and stability of a nation’s economy. It can be broken down into three overlapping components: the financial enterprises and their regulatory bodies; the financial markets (such as stock, bond, and currency exchanges); and the payment systems that provide cash, cheques and electronic means of payments for goods and services.
A career in the financial services industry offers a wide array of opportunities to advance, as well as excellent compensation and benefits packages. However, it’s important to understand the full scope of the industry to make a career choice that’s right for you. A good starting point is to determine which areas of the financial services industry interest you most, then focus on those sectors as you start your career.
Investing services are an integral part of the finance industry and a vital service that allows companies to grow. The investment bankers, fund managers, and broker-dealers who make up this group work to find, manage and sell investments on behalf of their clients. The goal is to generate long-term value for the company and investors, with risk mitigation as a priority.
Another major subsector of the financial services industry is insurance, which protects people against risks that are outside of their control, such as death or injury, property damage or loss, and liability and lawsuits. The most familiar form of financial insurance is life or health insurance, but there are many other types as well. The insurance industry also encompasses underwriting and reinsurance, which are parts of the risk management process.
Other companies that fall into the financial services industry include debt resolution and credit services, as well as payment service providers that offer credit card networks and global transactions. These companies can help their clients resolve debt, and often take a cut of the total transaction amount. Some of these providers are even able to help their clients save money by paying less than they owe, and without having a negative impact on the client’s credit score.
One of the best ways to prepare for a career in the financial services industry is to read up on the current economic and business conditions. Subscribe to a quality newspaper, such as the Wall Street Journal or Barron’s, and spend some time each day reading about the issues that are currently impacting the financial services industry.
As a job seeker, it’s also important to build a strong network. This will give you a better chance of landing an interview with a firm in this sector, especially if you are interested in a specific role such as a financial advisor or investment portfolio manager. In addition, it’s helpful to read up on trends in the market and new technology that may affect the future of the industry.