Careers in the Financial Services Industry

Financial services

When most people think of the financial services industry, they think of big Wall Street banks, hedge funds and private equity firms. But the industry is much more than that, and the wide array of options within it can make deciding on a career path tricky.

A strong financial services sector is vital to a nation’s economy, and when it functions well, consumers have more money to spend on products and services from businesses of all sizes. When the industry slows down, it can lead to recessions and depressions.

Financial services providers earn profits by accepting deposits and repayable funds from savers and borrowers and through other sources of revenue like credit card fees and interest on loans. They also administer payment systems and facilitate trading in securities, foreign exchange, and derivatives. They provide asset management and advisory services, too.

In addition, the financial services sector includes insurance companies that offer policies against unforeseen events (e.g., life, property, and health) as well as reinsurance companies that protect against loss. It also encompasses credit and lending companies that extend unsecured loans to individuals and businesses, such as mortgages, personal loans, and credit cards, as well as debt collection services.

Finally, financial services companies enable investors to buy ownership stakes and profit from a business’s growth. Venture capital and angel investing, for example, are part of the financial services sector, as are private equity funds. These companies often offer these investments in exchange for a cut of the company’s future profits.