How to become a Licensed International Financial Analyst has been explained in this article, and all you need is read to the end.
Is becoming a good financial analyst for me? The first step in choosing a career is making sure you are truly willing to commit to pursuing the profession. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you are new here, you must read about:
For the average person, making financial investments is no different than betting on horses. Maybe they have a quick head or maybe they like the look of a particular pony, but the final calculation is rarely based on much more than that. However, for financial analysts, making investments is a lot like a meteorologist who predicts the weather: a multivariate calculation that takes into account different data points and quantifiable trends. And although the result may not match expectations similarly, it is often very close.
Financial analysts guide companies or individuals who make investment decisions. They compare historical data, current data, and emerging trends. They evaluate the company’s financial statements to determine its true value. Bringing it all together, they work with management to identify the best investment opportunities for specific regulatory goals.
How to become a Licensed International Financial Analyst (LIFA)
It’s a tough, but lucrative career: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019), financial analysts earn an average of over $ 85,000 annually, with the top 10 percent earning nearly twice that. But there is a lot of room for diversity within this job title. Financial analysts generally focus on a specific industry, geography, or product. They can work for banks, hedge funds, nonprofits, or corporate entities. Even if the investment resembles horse racing at times, it is financial analysts who consistently have the hot advice.
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The first step: Obtain a bachelor’s degree (four years)
After graduating from high school, aspiring Licensed International Financial Analyst (LIFA) need a bachelor’s degree. A Bachelor of Science in Finance is the most straightforward pathway, but majors in statistics, accounting, or business can also provide an entry point. Entry requirements vary from school to school, but generally include the following: a high school competitive GPA (3.0 or higher); SAT and/or ACT scores; Letters of recommendation; And a personal statement.
Arizona State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Finance program at its Tempe, Arizona campus. In addition to the broad foundational curriculum, students take courses related to finance such as advanced management finance; Security analysis and portfolio management; Mathematics for Business Analysis. And financial markets and institutions. Hosted by WB University. Carey School of Business, students will have access to specialized initiatives in the business community and a large professional network. The program consists of 120 credits and the non-resident tuition fee is approximately $ 26,470 per year.
Southern New Hampshire University’s Online Bachelor of Finance is one of the most affordable and flexible financial programs. The curriculum is designed to teach students how to create financial plans, support strategic goals, analyze data, and comply with policies. The chapters cover topics such as corporate finance; Financial markets; Investment basics. Financial regulations and ethics; And multinational corporate finance. The program consists of 120 credits and costs approximately $ 320 per credit.
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Second Step: Gain Early Work Experience (Optional, schedule varies)
After graduating from high school, it is possible to find entry-level employment as a financial analyst. This early work experience can be crucial in building one’s understanding of the financial landscape and how it fits in with it. Do you enjoy trading securities, or do you prefer analyzing global markets? Now is the time to find out your preferences, and where to train your focus. At this point, you are not only putting your education into practice for the first time but also building a professional network that can further your career in the future.
Third step: Obtain a license (optional, schedule varies)
Although it is not a requirement for all Licensed International Financial Analyst (LIFA), licensing may be necessary for those who deal with regulated services, such as the purchase and sale of securities. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) offers a wide range of licensing tests covering everything from futures and options to research analysis. Financial analysts may begin with the SIE Preliminary Exam before moving on to more specialized qualifications.
Do note that licensing often requires an individual to be sponsored by a member firm of FINRA, which means that these qualifications are generally pursued during employment, rather than as a prerequisite for it.
Fourth Step: Earn a master’s degree (optional, 1-2 years)
Not all financial analysts have a master’s degree, but those who are often hired as senior analysts right outside the school. Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs can provide the management training needed to take on positions of high responsibility, and additional majors allow a financial analyst to focus their expertise in a specific niche.
Entry requirements vary from school to school, but generally include the following: a competitive university average (3.0 or higher); GMAT and/or GRE scores; Letters of recommendation; work experience; And a personal statement.
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Purdue Global offers an online MBA that is taught by real-world practitioners and paced with the school’s ExcelTrack software. Core courses cover topics such as business analytics; Economics of global decision-makers; Leadership strategies for a changing world; Process design, improvement, and implementation. Furthermore, students can add 16 optional concentrations in one of six areas, including in finance. The program consists of 76 credits and costs approximately $ 485 per credit.
Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business School has an online MBA program ranked in the top 15 by The Princeton Review. The core curriculum is designed around the pillars of strategy, technology, and leadership. Students may choose to add a focus on finance. The courses include quantitative analysis. Prices, profits, and the market economy; Information systems and operations. And information and accounting control systems.
In addition to online learning, students attend a one-on-one immersion experience in Los Angeles and collaborate with one of the school’s corporate partners. The program consists of 52 credits and costs approximately $ 1,815 per credit.
Fifth step: Obtaining the certificate (four years)
Many employers require their financial analysts to be certified as a Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) OR Licensed International Financial Analyst through the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFAI). Certification is a multi-step process that lasts, on average, four years, and candidates will need four years of direct experience in investment decisions either before, during, or after they participate in the CFA program.
In addition to the eligibility requirements, candidates need to pass three CFA exams, each of which requires approximately 300 hours of study. Once they have passed the three exams, and have accumulated all four years of experience, candidates need to provide reference letters regarding ability and personality. If all submitted materials are accepted, the financial analyst will receive a CFA. The standard registration fee and one-time registration fee are $ 1,450 in total.