financial analyst

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An expert who can take the financial and (some) non-financial information of a company or institution and formulate an educated opinion about the economic/financial situation and management of the company.

A financial analyst is able to make a diagnostic and judgement about the management processes in a business so that when this information is presented, the decision makers can quickly adopt the right plan of action in order to achieve the company’s objectives. There are many professions that fall under this category such as a portfolio manager, financial intermediary, investment advisors, personal financial planners, stock market analysts, researchers, professors, day-traders, stock brokers, ect.

The academic and professional background and training of a financial analyst is extensive and should include fields in business administration, economics, accounting, auditing, finance and mathematics; as well as having a high level of general culture and any specific certifications or diplomas that may be required as a professional. 

Financial analysts sometimes form groups and associations to support each other and their professional interests, while also making training activities readily available, professional accreditations and even just to make contacts within their field. There are also rules and guidelines that are set forth in ethical codes and followed by members. The EFFAS (European Federation of financial analysts Societies) is made up of 27 associations, including the IEAF in Spain. Brasil has the Associação Brasiliera dos Analists do mercado de Capitais (APIMEC) and in México there is the Insituto Mexicano de Analistas, Asesores y Analizadores del mercado Financiero. In Asia the securities Analysts Federation (ASAF) is made up of professionals from Australia, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, The Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. In the U.S.A., the CFA Institute (Chartered financial analyst Institute) represents 157 societies in 57 countries. 

Credit rating agencies usually require their analysts to pass exams in some type of institute or association to certify that they are capable of carrying out their functions and that they would do this in accordance with behavioural and ethical guidelines to assure impartiality in their work. This is also true of most governments and international governmental bodies as well.