For good or evil, money makes the world go around. However, in addition to that concept, husbandry, or the way that resources are managed, is part of the reason that the above statement is true. In other words, the way that money benefits individuals, businesses, and society as a whole depends on the financial acuity and experience of those who understand how money should be used. More specifically, financial acuity is at the root of why some financiers can look at an investment and know whether or not it is a wise one, in addition to knowing how to weather economic storms that might affect their own income. Financial leadership skills can be attained not only from an education that requires the study of financial markets but also, more importantly, from work experience.

In every aspect of daily life, governmental oversight and legislation act as checks and balances to make sure that on the individual and business level, society does not run itself into financial ruin. While most people can wisely navigate themselves through common financial issues, financiers are skilled with both experience and knowledge about the markets. Most financiers and financial leaders are effective communicators, as they need both written and oral communication skills. Because financiers make their income on their own investments as well as others, they need to be able to determine personality types (or read people), resolve conflicts, and educate and counsel their clients on financial investments. Additionally, a lot of investing involves selling the clients on a particular idea or investment, so strong sales and marketing skills are a plus. Other major skill sets needed to be a financial leader are strong organizational skills, problem-solving skills, tenacity, and ethics. The most important skill that financiers must have is the ability to forecast trends before they become trends. Those financiers, for instance, who invested in the biotechnology industry in the late 1990s and early 2000s made a fortune because they were able to invest in initial public offerings (IPOs) before the general public, as a result of understanding the investment potential ahead of time.

A financier’s role in business is not simply confined to investing in the stock market, which can be exciting and volatile all at the same time. Financiers contribute to the economy in more mundane, slower-paced environments. Instances in business when financiers contribute are varied.

  • A respected executive can assist those in trying to sell their ownership stake in a business to get a company off the ground. They can assist not only with funding the project but also with networking.
  • Financiers help with arranging smart leases, where an entrepreneur will lease assets in an effort to raise capital to start a business.
  • Financiers are at the helm of financing bank loans through short-term, mid-term, and long-term financing. They also finance working capital needs, real estate, and equipment for businesses.
  • Businesses are financed through popular SBA 7(a) loans.

These are just a few examples of the ways in which financiers contribute to the everyday business of working with consumers.

A person who is interested in this field of work can approach entering the occupation in a number of ways. Many financiers enter the field after working as traders, which only requires a high school diploma. These people learn the stock market by watching trends. However, to manage portfolios and to work with businesses in high-profile positions, prospective employees have to earn a master’s degree in business and obtain certain professional licenses and certifications. For those interested in working in governmental positions related to public administration where finance plays a central role, a bachelor’s degree suffices but a master’s degree is preferred. On-site and online programs all over the country offer this degree to interested students. The University of California’s online MPA degree, for one, trains students to understand and solve social problems in the public realm (click here if you are interested in USC’s online MPA degree option). Careers in finance are such that, depending on your area of interest, a person can find meaningful, well-paying job opportunities.

As stated above, financial acuity fuels financial security on the individual and societal levels. Successful financiers have combined educational and work experience that contribute to them being on their “A” game where investments are concerned. Financiers influence economic trends just in their investment choices alone, so those seeking employment in this area have the opportunity to be pioneers of any financial boom in an up-and-coming industry.

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