You might think of banks, stock brokers and mortgage lenders as separate entities, but they’re all part of the financial services industry. And, the sector includes more than just those three industries: it encompasses insurance companies, private equity firms and more. This is an important business, because it provides critical services to everyone from individuals to corporations and governments.
Financial services are activities that support economic activity, including the creation of money and credit to buy goods and services. This includes lending, deposit-taking and the provision of investment products, as well as all other forms of financial intermediation, such as leasing and asset management. In a global economy, financial services are important because they promote growth and increase the standard of living for consumers, businesses and governments.
The financial services industry is made up of thousands of depository institutions, providers of investment products, insurance companies and other credit and financing organizations as well as the critical financial utilities that support these functions. The industry also encompasses professional services firms that provide legal, accounting and auditing services; actuarial services; and valuation and risk management.
The wide variety of jobs within the financial services industry can make it challenging to determine which is the right career path for you. Duitch recommends networking and starting off with entry-level positions that will help you gain experience and move up the ladder in your company of choice. While working in the field, it’s also important to focus on personal finance, which is the practice of managing your money and preparing for financial challenges.