14 Pros and Cons of Being a Financial Analyst

Financial Analyst

It is difficult to find a more advantageous career opportunity than in the world of finance, especially as a financial adviser.

Taking this career path delivers a diversity of knowledge, expertise, and plenty of financial freedom.

Also, it opens a variety of doors for you in the future.

The primary role of financial analysts is to analyze the financial situation and trends so the company can make the right decisions for the future.

If you find finance fascinating and are interesting in pursuing a career as a financial analyst, keep reading to learn more about the position!

Pros of Becoming a Financial Analyst

There are numerous benefits to becoming a financial analyst that you must evaluate before jumping into the workforce.

These include:

1. Chance to Impact Change

Whether you are working for a client to improve their future savings or investments or are collaborating with a major firm to turn over their financials, financial analysts can become positive agents of change for clients, large or small.

Having a positive impact on change or even just a client’s life is not something most careers offer, so this can be a major benefit to those who wish to pursue a financial analyst career.

Many have found the people they have helped to be a rewarding aspect of the job.

2. Diverse Opportunities

When most think of financial careers, they consider accounting.

However, given that financial analysts regularly analyze data, they can move into a variety of financial roles, or take additional training to pursue a different opportunity.

While every opportunity has its requirements, a financial analyst is well-equipped to move around the finance industry, especially those with a decent amount of experience under their belt.

3. Excellent Flexibility

Many financial analyst positions have exceptional flexibility and work/life balance.

While this is not guaranteed, many financial institutions understand that overworking their employees could lead to burnout and counterproductivity.

Also, there could be certain times of the year that are more stressful for financial analysts, but that is usually planned.

Like with most new jobs, at the beginning of your career, you may need to put in your time to have a more flexible lifestyle down the road.

4. Exceptional Salary

It is no secret that financial analysts make a healthy living, especially after acquiring more experience and training.

Given that finance is the backbone of every company and country, there is a lot of money in almost every job in the industry.

It is not difficult or uncommon for many financial analysts to make six-figure incomes.

This is especially the case for those who work in major financial centers like New York City or other metropolitan areas.

5. Fantastic Working Conditions

Most financial analysts work behind a desk in a climate-controlled office in a comfortable chair.

That means they do not need to do any physical labor, be outside in the elements to meet with clients or have any physical discomfort.

While sitting in front of a computer all day can have its physical challenges and limitations, there is no backbreaking labor that can risk injury or a shortened career.

6. Meet Ambitious People

When working as a financial analyst, you will be surrounded by like-minded individuals with goals that align with yours.

One of the challenges in many careers is working with others who have different goals than you, which can cause some friction.

As a financial analyst, the goal of your job is to use data to make decisions that will make individuals and corporations money.

Therefore, those around you will also have that same desire to make as much money as possible.

7. Utilize Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is an essential quality to have as a financial analyst.

You must always be thinking quickly and ahead after analyzing financial data.

Those in this industry commonly have the personality that thrives in a high-pressure and high-stress environment.

If this type of environment fits your personality and you enjoy working under pressure, then a job as a financial analyst could be the best career fit for you.

Cons of Becoming a Financial Analyst

Like with any career path, there are some disadvantages you must be aware of before signing up, such as:

1. Challenge to Start Your Own Business

For those who have a strong entrepreneurial spirit, starting a company as a financial analyst can be a major challenge.

The large financial firms are already well-established and major corporations have in-house financial services teams.

Therefore, if a client is looking for a financial analyst, it is unlikely they will go to a startup company since so much money is involved in the decisions that are made.

Instead, they will go to an established company with 1,000’s of years of combined staff experience.

2. Continuous Education

For those who love to learn and want to get credit for expanding their knowledge, then becoming a financial analyst is a good career choice.

However, for those who have done their time in schooling and just want to grind out their days, being a financial analyst may not be the best option since you are required to continuously learn, since the market is constantly changing.

Each year, financial analysts are required to take different courses where they are updated with new information.

This is critical for the protection of the client and your integrity.

3. Could Struggle with Your Purpose

While you can make a direct impact on a company or individual’s life, that is not always the case.

You could end up crunching and analyzing numbers for a major company without ever seeing any fruits of your labor.

Your work may just be passed up the chain to help impact the bottom line.

It can be frustrating to work so hard on a project without ever knowing the results or seeing the immediate impact.

4. Cyclical Industry

One of the primary cons of working as a financial analyst is there could be poor job security since the industry is cyclical.

Brokerages and banks often go on hiring sprees when the economy is performing well but lay off a considerable percentage of employees during economic downturns.

While some financial departments are not impacted by layoffs, few jobs within the financial services industry are secure when a severe economic contraction occurs.

This can be a difficult barrier to surpass when considering entering the finance industry.

5. High Stress

As mentioned, being a financial analyst can be a high-stress situation with you being required to make snap decisions after analyzing a specific set of information.

There are tight deadlines, quotas, and a boatload of pressure.

Many enter this field and find it difficult to adjust to this way of working and lifestyle.

However, if you can surpass this initial adjustment and can keep up with the demands of this career, it can be incredibly lucrative and rewarding.

Unlike other money-centric careers, financial analysts deal with the global and local economy, stock market, and other areas that fluctuate greatly.

6. Meeting Quotas

Financial analysts are constantly required to meet the firm’s goals and objectives (quotas) by a certain deadline, which leads to high-stress levels.

Part of this is always looking for new clients, so juggling networking with your daily job responsibilities can be challenging.

Therefore, a large part of your financial and physical resources will be dedicated to building and keeping a client base.

7. Not a Good Role for Those Who Don’t Like Numbers

All decisions a financial analyst makes are based on the analysis of the numbers.

Therefore, if you hate doing basic math and find working with numbers boring, then this should be your last career choice.

Financial analysts work with numbers all day across spreadsheets, tickets, and other proprietary software programs to make critical decisions that directly impact an organization or individual’s money.

Pros and Cons of Being a Financial Analyst – Summary Table

Pros of Becoming a Financial AnalystCons of Becoming a Financial Analyst
1. Chance to Impact Change1. Challenge to Start Your Own Business
2. Diverse Opportunities2. Continuous Education
3. Excellent Flexibility3. Could Struggle with Your Purpose
4. Exceptional Salary4. Cyclical Industry
5. Fantastic Working Conditions5. High Stress
6. Meet Ambitious People6. Meeting Quotas
7. Utilize Critical Thinking7. Not a Good Role for Those Who Don’t Like Numbers

Should You Become a Financial Analyst?

One of the biggest benefits of becoming a financial analyst is the money behind the industry and role.

While there are many advantages to pursuing this career type, just as many drawbacks exist.

Therefore, when deciding whether to enter the finance industry as an analyst, you must weigh the pros and cons while determining if this is the right working environment for you.

Do you thrive in high-stress situations?

Can you make snap decisions that could cost or earn companies millions of dollars?

Do you like working with numbers?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then becoming a financial analyst may be an illustrious career choice for you!

Jamie Willis