Financial services is a broad term that encompasses a variety of activities and offerings from institutions, advisors and firms that help people manage their finances. These services are critical to economic activity and promote financial wellbeing for consumers, businesses, and governments. Financial services include banks, credit unions, pension providers, credit-card companies, and insurance brokers, among others.
The most familiar type of financial service is insurance, which provides a safety net against expensive, unexpected expenses. Examples of these costs include car and home repairs, hospital bills, and life insurance. The most common types of insurance include homeowners, auto, and life insurance. The role of an insurance agent or broker is to assess the risk for an individual or business and recommend appropriate coverage options. Another important role in financial services is that of the underwriter, who reviews loan applications for creditworthiness and advises investment bankers on loan risk. Reinsurers are also part of the financial services industry and provide reinsurance to insurance companies against catastrophic losses.
Another key component of the financial services industry is money management, which helps individuals and families stay on top of their budgets and debts. Services like budgeting and savings advice, debt counseling, and credit cards can all contribute to better money management and overall financial health. Financial services also include global payment providers such as Visa and Mastercard, as well as exchanges that facilitate stock, derivatives, and commodity trades.
In the United States, the biggest financial services companies include banks, credit unions, and asset management firms. In addition, there are many private equity funds and angel investors who offer venture capital and funding to new companies that could potentially become the next Google or Facebook. Finally, there are brokerage firms that buy and sell securities such as stocks, bonds, and commodities on behalf of their clients.
Working in the financial services industry comes with many perks and benefits. Besides offering competitive pay, the majority of these employers invest heavily in training and mentoring programs. They also have a reputation for hiring talent based on aptitude, rather than tenure. As a result, newcomers to the field can quickly make huge strides in their career if they work hard.
While a career in financial services has its rewards, it is not without its challenges. High levels of stress, long hours, and heavy workload are typical in some areas of the industry. In addition, many regulations exist to protect consumers and businesses, which can sometimes stifle innovation and growth. Having said that, the benefits of working in the financial services industry can outweigh these issues for most professionals. This is especially true if you’re able to find the right company that offers ample opportunities for advancement and success. Phyton Talent Advisors works with talented professionals in the financial services industry every day and can connect you to the best jobs available. Contact us today to get started!