Financial analysts make a lot more than accountants.

Warren Farrell, Writer

Pros and Cons of Working as a Financial Analyst

advantages and disadvantages of being a financial analyst

You think about becoming a financial analyst but want to know more about this profession before making your final decision? Great!

This article is exactly for you since I will show you all the pros and cons of being a financial analyst in the following chapters.

Financial Analyst Job Profile

Job DescriptionFinancial analysts analyze financial markets and the performance of companies. They also give advice on how to optimize financial decisions to ensure the long-term success of companies.
Salary$110,000 per year on average, most financial analysts make between $75,000 and $155,000 per year.
Job SecurityDecent if you have strong analytical skills.
Job SatisfactionGood if you love working with numbers.
Work-Life BalanceRather poor since you will have to work many extra hours as a financial analyst.
Physically / Mentally Demanding?Mentally demanding job.
Future OutlookQuestionable since many financial analysts will be replaced by machines in the near future.
RequirementsYou need a college with excellent grades to become a financial analyst.

Advantages of Being A Financial Analyst

  1. Financial analysts can make decent money
  2. You will be able to afford a nice lifestyle
  3. You can afford proper health insurance
  4. Financial analysts can avoid old-age poverty
  5. Good promotion opportunities for financial analysts
  6. Decent job prospects
  7. You can work for many different companies
  8. You learn strong analytical skills
  9. May help you to make good investment decisions
  10. You can avoid physical work
  11. Teleworking may be possible
  12. Good job if you like to work with numbers
  13. Financial analysts can work indoors
  14. You can work with motivated people
  15. You can build a strong network

Financial analysts can make decent money

One advantage of working as a financial analyst is that you can make pretty decent money.

Already your starting salary will be nice and you will be able to double your salary within the first decade of your professional life, at least if you are willing to work hard on improving your skills and offering value to the company you work for.

Consequently, you will also be able to afford many nice things at a relatively early stage of your life and while your friends may financially struggle, you will have a rather easy time in this regard since you will be able to cover your bills easily as long as you don’t waste your money on dumb things.

You will be able to afford a nice lifestyle

In general, financial analysts will be able to afford many nice things.

This can include a nice car, buying a fancy home and so on. Sure, you will not be able to afford all of this right at the beginning of your career.

However, over time, your salary will increase and so will your opportunities to afford a fancy lifestyle.

You will also have a pretty easy time when it comes to getting a mortgage from banks due to your decent salary and your high level of financial education.

Thus, while many other people will struggle to afford those nice things and may also don’t get a mortgage to finance a home, you will likely have no problems as a financial analyst in this regard.

You can afford proper health insurance

Thanks to your high salary as a financial analyst, you will also be able to afford proper health insurance.

While you may take this for granted, there are many millions of people out there who don’t have this kind of insurance at all and in case of a medical emergency, they are often not able to afford proper medical treatment.

In turn, people who don’t have proper health insurance often suffer from consequential health damage for quite a long time while you will be able to afford the best medical treatment.

Financial analysts can avoid old-age poverty

Another upside to a career as a financial analyst is that you will also have a higher chance to avoid old-age poverty.

People often underestimate how much money they need once they retire and consequently, many people who were barely able to pay their bills during their active careers will no longer be able to pay rent and other expenses during retirement age.

In turn, some of them even end up homeless in the streets.

Due to your good financial education, you will be less likely to suffer from those issues as a financial analyst.

Moreover, thanks to your good salary, you will also be able to save and invest lots of money for retirement age and if you do this wisely, chances are that you will have more than enough money and can enjoy many nice years while other old people still have to work to cover their bills at this age.

Good promotion opportunities for financial analysts

If you start your career as a financial analyst, you will also have pretty good promotion options later in your life.

In fact, you will be able to meet many people from different departments and if you are really good at what you are doing, those people will often try to promote you into leading roles.

Moreover, a good financial understanding is crucial for the success of every company and if you have strong skills and are also willing to work hard, many promotion opportunities will occur sooner or later which may give you the chance to get into a senior management position in your company.

Consequently, also your salary will increase substantially once this happens and you will be able to afford even more nice things.

Decent job prospects

People with a good financial education are always needed.

In fact, those people are the backbone of every company since only with a good financial plan, you will be able to compete in a fierce global market in the long run.

Hence, you will also not have to fear losing your job that much.

Of course, this may happen sooner or later.

Yet, chances are that you will find another job rather quickly.

Thus, while many other people constantly have to worry about losing their jobs and getting stuck in long-term unemployment, you will be able to enjoy a rather relaxed life in this regard since you know that you have many options waiting for you.

You can work for many different companies

Another advantage of being a financial analyst is that you can also work for many different companies.

In fact, while many people think that financial analysts exclusively work in the banking industry, this is actually not true at all.

Corporations in many different industries search for people with strong financial backgrounds and if you are really good at what you are doing, you can work for almost every company out there as a financial analyst.

The corporate world outside the banking sector may even offer you a much better work-life balance and more leisure in general and may therefore be a really good alternative to the traditional banking environment financial analysts often work in.

You learn strong analytical skills

The longer you work as a financial analyst, the better your analytical skills will get.

Sure, this also has to do with talent.

There are people out there who just have outstanding analytical talent and you will barely be able to compete with these people if you don’t have the same level of talent.

However, this doesn’t mean that you will not be able to improve your financial skills substantially during your financial analyst career.

In fact, you will learn quite a lot in this regard and will become a real expert in the financial industry in the long run.

May help you to make good investment decisions

Another benefit of becoming a financial analyst is that you will also be more likely to make good investment decisions.

While the average person out there barely knows anything about financial markets and how they work, you will have a real advantage and will also be much more aware of political decisions and how they affect the investment world.

In turn, you can adjust your investment strategies according to that and chances are that you will just be much more successful and outperform the majority of people out there.

Consequently, thanks to your good investment decisions and knowledge, you will be able to make wise financial decisions and you will also be better able to avoid bad financial decisions like getting into credit card debt and so on.

You can avoid physical work

While working as a financial analyst can be mentally demanding, you will still be able to avoid hard physical work.

Hence, while construction workers and many other people out there have to work in a physical manner and ruin their backs, you will be able to work in a rather comfortable office chair and you will therefore have a much lower risk of suffering from serious physical health problems in the long run.

Teleworking may be possible

Another advantage of becoming a financial analyst is that you will also be able to work remotely, at least a few days a week.

In fact, in our technologized world, it doesn’t really matter whether you work from home or if you work from your office since you can make video calls and other things from wherever you want.

In turn, you will be much more flexible when it comes to managing your private and your professional life and you will also be able to use your time much more efficiently compared to someone who has to show up at work in person.

Moreover, you will also be able to avoid getting stuck in traffic since you will not have to commute to work as many times as most other people have to do.

Good job if you like to work with numbers

Working as a financial analyst can also be a great career for you in case you really like to work with numbers.

While most people out there don’t like math at all, you may just be different and this is to your advantage since you will have skills most people don’t have to offer.

Hence, before becoming a financial analyst, make sure that you are not going for it just for the money but that you are really interested in this field.

Only then will you be able to stay happy and motivated in the long run and can really enjoy going to work every day.

Financial analysts can work indoors

As a financial analyst, you will also have the luxury of working indoors.

While you might take this for granted, you shouldn’t!

There are still many people out there who simply don’t have this luxury but rather have to work outdoors during extreme climatic conditions.

For instance, if you work as a garbage collector, you have to do so every day to keep cities clean, no matter whether it rains or snows outdoors.

In contrast, you will be able to work in a rather cozy office environment as a financial analyst and can even enjoy a nice coffee or tea during work.

You can work with motivated people

Since the financial industry is quite competitive and many people want to work as a financial analyst, you will also be able to work with many motivated and skillful people during your career.

In fact, you will meet people with outstanding skills on a regular basis and this can motivate you to work even harder on improving your own skills.

In turn, you will also become much better at what you are doing in the long run and this will also greatly improve your job prospects since the more valuable skills you have, the more companies out there want to employ you.

You can build a strong network

Since you will work with many different people and departments during your career as a financial analyst, you will also be able to build a really strong business network.

This is not only true inside your company, but also for your whole industry.

In fact, many people will leave the company you work for sooner or later but you will still be able to keep in touch with those people.

Consequently, you will also have a pretty easy time if you want to work for different companies one day since you already know many people in different companies whom you can use as a door opener.

As you can see, there are definitely many important advantages to a career as a financial analyst.

However, it is still not all upside and I therefore also want to show you all the downsides that come along with it in the following chapter.

Disadvantages of Working as a Financial Analyst

  1. Financial analysts often work long hours
  2. You may have to work on weekends
  3. Rather poor work-life balance
  4. You may struggle to find a purpose in what you are doing
  5. Working as a financial analyst can be stressful
  6. Not a good job if you don’t like to work with numbers
  7. Lack of creativity can be frustrating
  8. Sleeping problems can be annoying
  9. Hard to maintain relationships as a financial analyst
  10. Working climate can be difficult
  11. Hard to start your own business in this field
  12. Hire and fire mentality in the financial industry
  13. Some jobs in this field will vanish in the future
  14. You need a college degree for becoming a financial analyst

Financial analysts often work long hours

One problem with being a financial analyst is that you will often have to work many extra hours.

In fact, financial analysts in the banking industry often work much longer than the average person and 60+ hour workweeks are rather the norm than the exemption.

Hence, before you decide for becoming a financial analyst, make sure that you are willing to devote a huge fraction of your life to your job.

Otherwise, you may get frustrated with your job and may quit quite soon.

You may have to work on weekends

Not only will you have to work long hours as a financial analyst, but you will also have to do some work on the weekend.

Sure, you will also have some free weekends.

Yet, you can never be sure about it and you may just get lots of work on Friday which you have to finish until Monday.

In such a case, even though you might not work officially, you will still have to do the work during the weekend and this will prevent you to spend quality time with your family or to go on nice weekend trips with your favorite people.

Rather poor work-life balance

Due to the long working hours, you will also have a rather poor work-life balance as a financial analyst.

In fact, while many other people enjoy their leisure, you will have to work.

You will also not be able to meet up with your favorite people after work since you will often have to work during the late evening.

Moreover, you may also not have enough time for your kids and while other people enjoy their family life, you may have to do rather unpleasant work and may get pretty frustrated with your life in the long run.

You may struggle to find a purpose in what you are doing

Another disadvantage of working as a financial analyst is that you will also often struggle to find true meaning in what you are doing.

Quite often, you just analyze things that don’t really matter.

You will also spend most of your time on projects that may be beneficial for the company you work for, not for society.

This can be really frustrating since you may not see any value in what you are doing since you will not be able to make the world better.

Hence, while other people like doctors can save lives, you will not have the same opportunities since you will just handle numbers all day long.

Working as a financial analyst can be stressful

You should also not underestimate the stress that comes along with working as a financial analyst.

Quite often, you will not have enough time to finish your work in a decent manner and you will therefore have to take some shortcuts to get your work done.

In turn, you may deliver pretty bad results and sooner or later, you may even get fired due to that.

This knowledge can also be emotionally demanding since you will always have to worry about getting your work done in time and you may therefore also suffer from serious mental issues in the long run.

Not a good job if you don’t like to work with numbers

Before becoming a financial analyst, you should also make sure that you like to work with numbers.

Otherwise, you will just not become happy with what you are doing in the long run since you will have to work with numbers almost every workday.

Lack of creativity can be frustrating

Another downside to being a financial analyst is that you will also not be able to be that creative.

Since you will often just analyze numbers, you will not have lots of freedom regarding how to present those things and if you are the kind of creative person who needs plenty of room in this regard, chances are that you will also not get happy with a career in the financial industry.

Sleeping problems can be annoying

Due to the high workload and the pressure that comes along with working as a financial analyst, you may also develop serious sleeping problems in the long run.

In fact, many financial analysts are not able to unplug from work and also think about their mistakes during nighttime.

A lack of good sleep can not only greatly decrease your quality of life, but it can also lead to serious health problems in the long run.

Hard to maintain relationships as a financial analyst

While it may be easy for you to attract people into your life as a financial analyst due to your good salary and your high social status, it may still be hard for you to maintain relationships.

You will often come home later and your partner may just not trust you and think you might be cheating.

In turn, your relationships may end pretty soon and it may be hard to find a partner to spend your life with.

Working climate can be difficult

Many people want to work as financial analysts and the decent money you can make in this field also attracts many motivated and ambitious people.

While some of those people are nice, others just make their careers their first priority and may just not treat you well at all in case they think that this helps their career prospects.

In turn, the overall working climate may be quite poor and you may therefore just not be able to enjoy your work that much.

Hard to start your own business in this field

Becoming a financial analyst may also not make sense for you in case you want to start your own business sooner or later.

Competing in this field as a newbie is almost impossible since few big corporations share the market.

Hence, if you plan to work self-employed one day and don’t want to work for a company your whole life, you may want to go for a career in a different field where it is easier to start your own business.

Hire and fire mentality in the financial industry

Especially if you want to work as a financial analyst in the banking industry, there is a certain hire and fire mentality and while you may have had a good job yesterday, you may lose it today without prior notice.

Some jobs in this field will vanish in the future

Due to our technological progress, machines have become pretty smart and will be able to do lots of analytic work much better than humans in the future.

Consequently, many jobs will vanish in the financial industry and this means that you will also have to deal with rather insecure job prospects in the future.

You need a college degree for becoming a financial analyst

You also need many years of college education for becoming a financial analyst.

This means that you will not earn much money after high school and that you will also have to spend lots of money on tuition and other expenses related to college.

Consequently, make sure that you are willing to make this commitment before you decide for a career as a financial analyst.

Top 10 Being a Financial Analyst Pros & Cons – Summary List

Being a Financial Analyst ProsBeing a Financial Analyst Cons
Financial analysts can make good moneyFinancial analysts have lots of stress
You can afford fancy lifestyleTime pressure can be enormous
You can avoid old-age povertyHard to get into this field
You can make good investment decisionsYou need a college degree
Good job if you like to work with numbersYou may not see any sense in your work
You can meet many ambitious peopleFinancial analysts work long hours
Decent job prospectsYou may have to work on weekends
Good promotion opportunitiesHire and fire mentality in this sector
You can work from homeCompetitive work environment
You can avoid physical workHard to start your own business

Should You Become A Financial Analyst?

As you can see from the discussion, there are many advantages and disadvantages of being a financial analyst.

You should definitely evaluate all those pros and cons carefully to make a good decision in this regard since your career choice will greatly influence how your future life will look like.

If you are still interested in an analyst career, also make sure to get detailed information on the salary, career prospects, future outlook, working hours, work-life balance, educational requirements, job satisfaction of financial analysts and much more.

Also make sure to check out the following articles:

Advantages and disadvantages of a career as an insurance agent

Advantages and disadvantages of a career as an accountant

Advantages and disadvantages of a career as a sales agent

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_analyst

https://www.statista.com/statistics/935983/salary-of-financial-analysts-usa-by-industry/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/935969/employment-of-financial-analysts-usa-by-industry/

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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