Financial services are the economic services provided by the finance industry, which encompasses a broad range of professional firms that manage money, including credit unions, banks, insurance companies, and investment funds. These firms provide a wide range of products and services, such as saving accounts, checking accounts, money market accounts, mutual fund shares, stocks, bonds, and loans. In addition, they offer a variety of financial services, such as investment advisory, securities research, and the underwriting of debt and equity for corporate acquisitions and mergers.
In general, the financial services industry is a major engine for economic growth. It is involved in every aspect of the economy, from directly facilitating savings and investments to indirectly helping support other industries through lending money and reducing risks. The health of this sector is vital to the overall health of a country’s economy. When it is robust, consumers have more spending power and confidence, while when the sector falters, it can lead to a recession.
In this field, job security is generally high and there are a number of different career paths to choose from. Many jobs require a bachelor’s degree, but it is possible to start in this industry with less education if you have the right soft skills. Depending on the position, you may also need to be comfortable working long hours and dealing with stress. For example, some stock brokers and financial advisors work 16 to 20 hours a day.