Financial services encompass a broad range of professions and products, from banking to investments and beyond. These industries are crucial to the national and world economy, affecting individuals and businesses alike. Choosing to work in this field is an important decision that shouldn’t be made lightly.
In addition to being a major contributor to economic growth, the financial services industry is a diverse one that offers a wide range of career options for those interested in this field. The sector includes both for-profit and nonprofit ventures, with some financial services companies offering a wide array of products and others more focused on specific niches or sectors. There are also regulatory agencies that oversee different financial services firms to ensure transparency and fairness for all clients.
The four main types of financial services include:
Banking services are those that help individuals and businesses store and manage their money. This includes depositing and withdrawing funds, offering loans and credit cards and providing other related services like online banking, mobile apps and automated teller machines. Many banks also offer payment services, where they allow individuals and businesses to make payments through a variety of methods in exchange for a fee. These payment services can be anything from direct deposit of paychecks to paying a bill or even paying back a friend for lunch.
Investment services are those that help individuals and businesses invest their money for the long term. These services can include a wealth management service that helps individuals create and implement an investment strategy, brokerage services where investors buy and sell securities and financial consulting services. Some investment services may be limited to certain sectors or markets, such as asset management services which handle pensions, insurance assets and more, or structured finance services where complex derivative products are created for high-net worth individuals.
Regulatory services are independent agencies that supervise financial services firms to ensure they operate transparently and treat their clients fairly. These agencies can include the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. There are also specialized services within this industry, such as securities research where companies maintain their own departments to help traders and clients with investment decisions or prime brokerage services where high-net-worth individuals receive exclusive services for their accounts.
A financial services job can be very rewarding, but it isn’t for everyone. Some jobs in this industry are very stressful, especially when working in a role that deals with risk. Those who choose to work in this field need to be intelligent, quick-thinking and team players. Those who do well in this industry often find themselves moving quickly up the ladder and earning good salaries. Phyton Talent Advisors works with professionals in this field every day, and we see firsthand that they tend to earn a higher income than those in some other fields.