The Financial services industry includes thousands of depository institutions, providers of investment products, insurance companies, and credit and financing organizations. It also includes independent regulatory agencies that oversee various financial services industries to ensure transparency, fairness and compliance with laws. This industry is critical to a country’s economy because it encompasses activities that impact all aspects of personal finance, which include earning income, spending money, saving and investing.
The most obvious examples of financial services are bank operations, such as handing deposits into checking and savings accounts or lending money to customers for mortgages, auto loans, or business loans. Investment banks, however, are a separate category from traditional banks and focus on helping businesses raise money through offerings of debt and equity.
Another big part of financial services is asset management, which helps investors manage their investment portfolios by selecting and diversifying investments, analyzing market conditions to optimize returns and meet clients’ financial goals, and offering consulting and advisory services. This can also include providing due diligence and valuation services for real estate endeavors and assisting with corporate reorganizations and mergers.
The career options within this field are nearly endless, although a degree may be necessary to move up the ranks in some positions. The best way to break into the industry is to start in a lower-level role and work your way up, which can help you build up the necessary skills for more advanced roles. Also, since the industry is so reliant on relationships, having a strong network can be helpful in landing an interview and breaking into the field.