Career pathway guides are a great way to educate yourself on the possible opportunities that you may have while studying or working in a particular field. For students or working professionals, who are either entering education or corporate life, would want to get all the information they need to see the possible opportunities they may have in a field. These guides not only show you all the directions you can take but also let you know what you are required to do in these fields. Our guide will help you with all the sectors of finance consumer services and is finance consumer services a good career path?
What is finance consumer services?
Before we connect the dots and find out “is finance consumer services a good career path?”, it is important to understand what finance consumer services are.
Think about it this way. When you’re at any company’s retail outlet, there will be people there to tend to your needs and queries. These people are in the space of “customer support” and provide customer service helping and guiding individuals who walk into the store.
Now, have this concept in mind and try to think about how it connects or relates to the field of finance. What kind of people would want to come to a financial services outlet and what kind of services they are requiring. This is important to understand before you decide “is finance consumer services a good career path?”.
Throughout the world, there has been a fast awareness of individual financing needs. The urge to save money or have it multiplied over a while or simply to beat inflation has led to a boom in this space.
Finance consumer services are growing in demand day by day with many individuals being inspired by influencers over social media. Then there are some people who are operating a small home-based or a sole trader business and require help with the financial planning of their businesses. There are people who are not well-versed with filing their tax returns and require assistance from financial experts.
People in financial consumer services offer their knowledge and expertise to solve consumer’s financial issues or needs. Some may want to get into investing while others may simply want to have their taxes done. Professionals in this line of work are just one part of the broad field of financial consumer services.
The ones that we have discussed so far are individuals interacting with professionals. But what about those behind the scene? The back door office financial staff? Yes, just like any other business that provides a service, you will find people who work as the front staff which could be anywhere from customer service to sales, and then there are people who sit in the back office. These are the professionals that create the services, analyze trends to provide insights for the services being used by consumers and more. So, before you hurry to find out the answer to is finance consumer services a good career path for you or not, you need to know the different elements of this field.
Think about it this way. You go to an investment company’s retail office and are greeted by the front staff who helps you decide what investment is right for you. They will ask you a series of questions to analyze your risk appetite before letting you know the options available to you. But these are not the people who create financial products and are merely part of the sales force. There is a whole office staff that ensures the financial products provide value to their clientele, portfolios are managed efficiently for maximum profits, dealing with financial institutions to comply with the financial regulatory bodies, and so on.
All of these are part of finance consumer services and the reason that you understand how this works in the field of finance is important as it will help you with “is finance consumer services a good career path?”.
Before we head to “is finance consumer services a good career path?”, you need to know whether or not this field is right for you. You need to understand that the skills required to be part of the workforce in finance consumer services are something that you can bring to the table before you can decide “is finance consumer services a good career path?” for you.
The world of finance consumer services: Triangle of relationships
We’ve still not answered the question “is finance consumer services a good career path for you?” because there are some things you need to understand before deciding on “Is finance consumer services a good career path for you?”.
When finance was initially introduced, the concept was pretty new at the time and individuals were not aware of how it could affect their savings or boost their businesses, and so on. Back then, financial institutions were only involved in dealing with government bodies however with time, all of this has changed. Now, we don’t just have the FEDs or central banks but consumer banks, investment banks, asset management companies, insurances, and the list goes on.
With all these companies opening up, it has led to an interaction with many stakeholders rather than the previous interaction with government bodies only. There are so many private organizations opened in today’s world and these organizations are always looking to raise capital or have access to funding.
There are two types of funding, debt, and equity. Whatever source of funding these organizations require, at the end of the day, they have to approach a financial institution. These companies are reliant on financial institutions to provide funding or manage their capital and help them grow.
Let’s look at it this way. The top finance manager or the chief financial officer of Amazon might require capital to launch their new stream of products. He or she might be needing expert sound advice on whether to go for bonds or equity. In either case, the manager will have to approach a brokerage house or a financial institution to take care of this transaction.
Here comes the interesting aspect of this triangle of relationships, entering the individuals in the mix. Individual investors are always on the lookout for a good opportunity to maximize their profits while others might be looking for an average return but lower risk. In this case, they will approach a financial institution to help them buy stocks or corporate bonds. If they choose stocks, then a lot of government bodies are involved in this process but if they choose to buy corporate bonds, then the individual and corporations are connected.
The triangle is formed because many different individuals, companies, and institutions are interlinked and they are connected through a financial institution. It’s not over yet as there are secondary markets too where trading occurs or where managers make a bet on particular stock or company and so on.
Consider financial institutions to be global intermediaries as they are connected with the entire world. If the political uncertainty in Zimbabwe negatively affects the gold mining in the country, the impact of this will be shown in the price of gold which will affect the commodities market in the US and around the world. This is a two-way streak. If the commodity market in the US sees an influx of capital, it will positively affect the gold price which will have a positive impact on the families who are working in gold mining professions.
Now that you’ve understood how different stakeholders work together and are connected by financial institutions, let’s look at the traits required before you can decide on “is finance consumer services a good career path for you?”.
Is finance consumer services a good career path? Traits required in this field
Before we get into “is finance consumer services a good career path” for you, you must understand that not all jobs are the same hence they all have different requirements. Working in finance consumer services requires the candidate or employee to have skills based on the role the person is working in. These can vary from analytical to sales, marketing, and more. However, some traits are common among finance consumer services and these are as follows.
Financial professionals are very much in demand forcing the industry to be highly competitive to ensure the best of the best can climb the corporate ladder. Your relationship with the company and your drive to be the best will determine where you land in the world of finance.
Everybody will be aiming for the top position, however, to get there you might have to sacrifice the work-life balance that other industries provide. This could be seen in sales where people are required to meet their monthly client targets or in portfolio management where a consistent and high return portfolio manager is rewarded or any other department in finance consumer services.
The need to be the best, the drive to achieve excellence, and the passion to know finance will cement your success in this line of work. There is no slow life here in finance. Ever seen the movies like Wolf of Wallstreet or Margin Call or the many others that have entered the Hollywood scene? What is the one thing common with these movies? All individuals are striving to be the best. The competitive environment is what pushes the employees and also the financial firm to achieve new heights.
The history of finance started with corporations dealing with government bodies or other institutions, however, with time and new financial products, it has opened the market for individuals and all sorts of people. Where fewer people were involved in the past, now many different stakeholders are a part of the financial markets and institutions. This means that you would be interacting with people from all walks of life.
If you’re in sales, then be prepared to meet many different people. Your calm attitude and peoples person approach will help you close deals and maintain strong relationships with individuals. However, if you’re in portfolio management, you will be interacting with financial institutions, government bodies, and many corporate firms. Knowing how to deal with different personalities will help you succeed in the financial world.
This is a very important trait and if you don’t have that you might find that you’re struggling to succeed in this space. With so many different products and services to provide not only to large corporations but individuals and government bodies, you need to be a team player as there will be a lot of interaction among multiple departments. Working together to achieve your KPIs will help you succeed as you may find it difficult to attain these KPIs without being a team player. There are far greater synergies in combining skills to propel the company forward rather than working alone and this is what the management in such financial institutions expect of you.
Good with numbers
This comes without saying, to succeed in the field of finance, you need to eat, drink and sleep numbers. You need to be good with maths and numbers as you’ll be dealing with digits and numbers daily. If you’re not good at numbers or do not have the passion to live it, then considering other branches of finance like sales might be the right option for you.
However, sales require some ability to comprehend numbers as clients will continuously ask you about their portfolio, how much can it go up by, and so on. These questions will often have you crunching numbers. So, if you’re not good with numbers, you should either practice if you have the passion to get into this field or simply avoid the field as it is too competitive to start with. The chances to succeed might be minimal if you’re not able to get a satisfactory performance score from your line manager.
Before you ask yourself, is finance consumer services a good career path or not, you need to know that it requires you to be good with numbers. Your first or main question should be what are the skills that this career path requires before you think about is finance consumer services a good career path or not.
Attention to detail
You need to have attention to detail to succeed in this line of work. The reason being that the senior management will always rely on the lower staff to provide the right analytical data to present to clients and even get them on board. If your data is filled with errors, that will not only impact consumer client relationships but later on also negatively affect the financial firm.
Going through numbers daily can get hectic and you might even lose sight of any errors in doing so, this is why attention to detail is important and those that have, succeed in this line of work.
Human beings are productive for 3 to 4 hours a day, however, that is below what financial institutions expect from their employees. With such a competitive career path, these firms expect their employees to be working round the clock if there are any problems or hiccups that occur.
You may also find that there is a lot of multi-tasking going on. Everyone is working on so many different things at once and to do that right, you need to be completely focused. We’re not saying that everyone requires quaaludes (a reference to Wolf of Wallstreet movie) to succeed in this field but you need to give your time and commitment to the company. Don’t think that you will be working a 9 to 5 shift today but think about all the tasks you have to do for the day. This may push the 9 to 5 boundary and you may find working late nights to accomplish these tasks.
Now that you’ve understood some of the traits required for finance consumer services, here are some areas of service offered to help you get the answer to is finance consumer services a good career path for you.
Is finance consumer services a good career path? Different areas of service
Is finance consumer services a good career path? Before you ask this question, you need to understand whether the services these financial institutions provide align with your career goals. Let’s have a look at some of the different areas of service so that you’re able to get the answer to your question of is finance consumer services a good career path or not.
Retail and commercial banking
Retail banking deals with individuals and provides the products and services catered to their needs while on the other hand commercial banking takes care of the financial needs of corporations and other commercial institutions. These banks provide account opening services, loans and mortgages, investment opportunities, and more for their commercial and individual customers.
Remember the triangle of relationships? Commercial banks provide loans to businesses that propel the economy forward by kickstarting economic growth.
These are not banking institutions but financial firms that provide commercial financing to corporations to help them expand and grow. There will come a time where a firm needs to invest large sums of money to achieve the growth rate that they are aiming for. However, to do that banks may require collateral and have other conditions which may deter corporations or small businesses from getting loans.
To avoid this situation with the banks, commercial finance is firms that offer loans and other modes of financing without the hassle associated with getting loans from the bank. However, the risk to commercial financing companies might be high and therefore they charge a little higher than banks to secure their position.
This is a field of accounting where you would need to look at a business’s financial statements or create one to help analyze where the business stands. A business uses this information to make decisions and a future roadmap to ensure that the company is going on track. A business might either hire a financial accountant or outsource the department to a company that provides financial accounting services like accounting consultancy firms. This can be a great choice for smaller firms who can not afford to hire additional employees if they wish to get insights into their company for better decision-making.
Corporate finance is a very important area of finance for large firms that are always looking for sources of finance. This department is also beneficial for large firms who are buying other firms to add synergies to their business. In doing so, the company requires people to look at the structuring deal and the entire process of it so that the synergies that flow from mergers and acquisitions materialize. You can understand how important this is for a company spending millions or billions of dollars to buy other firms for the sole purpose of expansion. Corporate finance is also responsible for the allocation of financial resources.
Financial planning and wealth management
With taxes and other expenses on our heads, it’s only right to have a financial planning firm use their expertise in creating the right financial plan or a wealth management firm to manage your income so that you’re beating inflation and making more money at the same time. Individuals might be looking for help writing their will and a financial planning firm is experienced to understand your needs and create a will for you that complies with all the financial laws.
As with any other firm, you need operations to look at the day-to-day running of the firm whether it be providing human resource services or ensuring administration policies throughout the company. Without operations, it becomes difficult to manage the company and help it grow.
Is finance consumer services a good career path? Top career paths in financial services
Again, before you get your answer to is finance consumer services a good career path, you need to understand that it should align with your goals before you even consider getting into a field. Some career paths have more growth potential than others, however, some may not have the growth potential but maybe rewarding in other ways. See, what fits your requirements well.
Individuals who want to get into finance but are not looking to work outside the 9 to 5 norm should not consider becoming an investment banking analyst or a portfolio manager. They would be better of in sales or as a relationship manager. See what fits you best before you try to search for answers to is finance consumer services a good career path.
Here are the top career paths you can choose if you’re getting into the field of finance.
- Relationship manager
- Portfolio manager
- Financial controller or project specialist
- Chief risk officer or chief finance officer
- Sales agents or brokers
In conclusion, Is finance consumer services a good career path?
Well, we’ve already laid down all the possible paths you can take, the skills required, and about the industry itself. Is financial consumer services a good career path for you depends on your career goals and do you have the skills to succeed in your field.
If you enjoy finance but do not have that drive to pursue finance consumer services, then considering having a role as a finance officer in a private firm may be the right option for you. However, if you’re into finance and want to enter the finance consumer services space because you feel that you have the right set of skills to succeed, then you’ve already answered the question is finance consumer services a good career path for you.