what is a finance analyst?

A finance analyst guides individuals or businesses on investment opportunities with lucrative outcomes. You use knowledge of the industry, market trends and financial data to find the best strategy for continued growth. Your job involves analysing economic trends, financial information and business news.

As a finance analyst, you can work in investment companies or financial institutions like banks. Some businesses also need internal finance analysts to monitor their investment strategies and minimise losses.

Since you have to build financial models for data analysis and forecasting, proficiency in various statistical software for analysis and building portfolios is important. The tools help you keep track of past and present financial information and use prediction models to determine if an investment deal is viable.

finance analyst job description

As a finance analyst, you can work as a buy-side analyst, where your job entails developing investment strategies for institutional investors like hedge funds, insurance companies and mutual funds. Finance analysts also work for the sell-side and guide individuals or financial service agents on the best-performing stocks, bonds and investments. It is possible to switch between buyer-side and seller-side clients since the roles and prediction models are similar. However, buyer-side finance analysts have broader responsibilities and must be accurate.

Would working in finance as a finance analyst suit your critical thinking and enterprising skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a finance analyst role.

finance analyst jobs

average salary of a finance analyst

According to ONS, a finance analyst earns an average salary of £42,500 annually, which translates to £21.79 per hour. At an entry-level position, a finance analyst earns £32,500 per year. When you have years of experience and multiple skills, you can make £60,000 per year.

Finance analysts earn commissions for successful investments. Some companies pay bonuses and other monetary incentives. You also receive various allowances like medical insurance and pension schemes.

how to boost your salary as a finance analyst

You can increase your salary as a finance analyst by improving your skills and advancing your educational qualifications. As you improve your experience and build your skills, you will be eligible for better salaries and additional benefits. Your duties and area of specialisation also influence your compensation package. For instance, equity finance analysts in the private sector earn more than treasury analysts working for the government. Private companies are likely to pay more and have better commissions than the public sector. The location also impacts your compensation package. Large cities with huge investment firms have a higher demand for finance analysts. The high cost of living also boosts your salary. Small towns with a low cost of living offer a lower earning potential.

Group of people having a meeting
Group of people having a meeting

types of finance analyst

Some types of finance analysts include:

  • investment banking analyst: your responsibility as an investment banking analyst is to help companies meet their financial goals by looking for investment opportunities. You also create economic models and complete evaluations to determine the performance of current investments.
  • equity research analyst: your job is to oversee investment portfolios for a group of companies in a particular industry. You can work for both buy-side and sell-side firms to help them decide the securities to hold and the ones to sell.
  • treasury analyst: as a treasury analyst, you manage finances in various government agencies. You oversee investment income, cash flow and asset levels. You also advise on ways to improve financial health.
  • corporate development analyst: your job is to optimise business processes and enhance income from business operations. You assess operations and expenses and develop better strategies.

working as a finance analyst

A finance analyst role involves predicting and analysing investment performances using industry data and various economic models. Find out the duties, responsibilities and work environment of a finance analyst.


education and skills

You can become a finance manager through the following routes:

  • university degree: as an entry-level finance analyst, you need a bachelor's degree in economics, finance, accounting or other relevant business fields. A master's in finance or business administration will boost your career prospects.
  • certifications: a finance analyst needs certification from the chartered institute of financial analysts. Certification improves your employment prospects and helps you acquire a chartered status.

skills and competencies

You need these soft and hard skills to succeed in your position:

  • research skills: your job involves mining data from various sources to use in financial analysis. Research skills help you find historical data from company records and macroeconomic data from industry sources. You can make predictions from the data analysis with sufficient information.
  • attention to detail: you have to be detail-oriented to notice market trends and make accurate predictions. Attentiveness to detail helps you make insightful conclusions based on changes in the market.
  • analytical skills: as a finance analyst, you evaluate tons of data and make accurate conclusions. You need analytical skills to ask the right questions, draw accurate conclusions and discern the best solutions for your clients.
  • math skills: you should be good in math and numbers since you handle complex calculations in financial modelling. Sometimes you have to use complex equations to complete data analysis. Math skills also help you formulate financial models like charts and graphs.
  • communication skills: you need communication skills to explain complex financial jargon to clients and investors. Communication and people skills also help you maintain relationships with stakeholders to gain access to information.
smiling female looking away
smiling female looking away


FAQs about working as a finance analyst

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