While the world of financial services might conjure up images of big money bankers and hedge fund managers, the sector is actually comprised of everything that touches money — from personal finance budgeting apps to credit card companies. It also encompasses professional firms like law and accounting firms that provide advice to consumers and businesses alike. And while the industry is certainly not without its challenges, it remains one of the most important in our economy.
The financial services industry is defined as a collection of organizations that change savings into investments and provide other financial services like loans, credit cards, and investment opportunities. The industry is comprised of both for-profit and nonprofit entities, such as investment agencies, stock market brokers, and even your local credit union.
A healthy financial services sector is critical for both individuals and businesses. It helps people get the money they need for things like mortgages, education, or vehicles; allows them to save for retirement and other goals; safeguards their property and health through insurance; and allows companies to grow and expand by providing them with the capital they need to do so.
It’s not surprising, then, that a robust financial services sector is the backbone of a strong national and global economy. However, the industry is constantly facing new challenges and needs. The pandemic that has ravaged parts of the globe, for example, has forced many banks to rethink their business models and weed out inefficient products. Meanwhile, non-traditional competitors have sprung up to offer better rates and more consumer-friendly options.
In addition, the current economic climate is putting additional pressure on both consumers and business owners to improve their financial wellness. Studies show that when people have more control over their money, they are healthier both physically and emotionally, and they’re able to make smarter decisions about their futures. This is why more and more people are turning to financial services providers for help in managing their finances, from debt counseling to credit repair.
The good news is that there are plenty of career options within the financial services industry. It is important to understand, though, that not all positions are created equal and that not every role will pave the way for you to achieve your career goals. To that end, it’s important to do your research and find a position that supports your long-term vision for your career.