Finance Strategist: Career and Salary Facts

Research what it takes to become a finance strategist. Learn about common job responsibilities, education and training requirements and potential earnings to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Accounting & Finance degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Financial Strategist?

The fields of banking and finance are common employment options for finance strategists. These professionals may advise companies or individuals as they make investments and trade in the market. Financial strategists must analyze financial data to make credible recommendations about what financial actions to take. They may help their clients buy or sell commodities and securities, contact potential clients and monitor the market trends. They also evaluate different kinds of financial agreements. Financial strategists may need to educate their clients on certain investment options, as well as answer any questions or concerns they may have. The table below provides information for this career:

Degree Required Bachelor's degree (minimum), Master's degree (recommended)
Education Field of Study Business, finance
Key Skills Responsibilities Analyze investment markets & individual accounts, advise clients & sales agents
Licensure OR Certification Varies by position; credentials from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute may be required for some jobs
Job Growth (2014-24) 10%* (for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents); 12%* (for financial analysts)
Average Salary (2015) $102,860* (for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents); $95,320* (for financial analysts)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Duties Does a Finance Strategist Have?

Finance strategists generally work in banking and other corporate environments. They may share similar job duties to other professionals in this industry, such as financial analysts, operational risk analysts, planning analysts and financial sales service agents.

Working in finance, you may analyze investment markets and individual accounts in order to advise clients on how to optimize their investment portfolios. You may also specialize in a specific industry, such as energy, as well regional or global markets.

You might work with institutional investors who have large amounts of investment capital, such as hedge funds. Your duties could also include working in an advisory capacity to sales agents or specializing in stocks and bonds.

What Training Will I Need?

Most entry-level positions in finance usually require a bachelor's degree in business, finance or a related field of study. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that many professionals in this field pursue a master's degree, such as the Master of Business Administration or Master of Science in Finance, which can also be beneficial if you're interested in advancement opportunities.

Whether or not you need a license or certification will depend upon the position. In some cases, according to the BLS, you may be able to obtain training and certification through your job. To determine the type of credentials needed, you may want to refer to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute.

What Advancement Opportunities Exist?

If you're currently in an entry-level position in securities, commodities or financial services sales, the BLS indicates you could work toward becoming a portfolio manager. In order to be promoted, you would need to demonstrate your ability by accruing a large portfolio of accounts. After this, you may have the opportunity to become a financial analyst or handle large institutional accounts.

How Much Could I Earn?

There are a variety of factors that can impact your salary potential, such the industry and your job title. For example, the BLS reported that in 2015, financial analysts earned an average salary of approximately $95,320. In the same year, the BLS reported that financial service sales agents, as well as those who worked in securities and commodities, earned an average of about $102,860.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Financial managers and personal financial advisors are a couple of related positions that require at least a bachelor's degree. Financial managers ensure that an organization stays financially healthy. They analyze finance reports and develop plans to help the organization reach their long-term financial goals. Personal financial advisors typically work with individuals to advise them on various financial matters. They may advise their clients about taxes, retirement, mortgages, college savings and more.

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