Top 12 Courses in Finance in India

1x1.trans Top 12 Courses in Finance in India

 To start with, anybody who attempts to create a list, any list is always on a slippery wicket.

First, any list does involve a certain bit of subjectivity and thus it will never be perfect. Despite all this one must attempt to create a list.

After all, a list helps us in the simplest way to know why we decide to take a certain action.

When I began creating the list of top courses in finance available in India I thought of keeping the big daddy i.e. the MBA in Finance out of the list.

After all, we all know what an MBA in finance can do for us.

But, I didn’t want to exclude it for the sake of it as I know the popularity of the course.

Keeping this in mind I’m going ahead with a list of top finance courses available in India which would help you to make good of your passion.

I have broadly divided the courses into the following sections:

  • MBA
  • Statutory Courses
  • Specialized courses

1. MBA

Probably the most obvious choice for anybody who wishes to make a career in financial services is to do an MBA in finance.

The advantage that an MBA has over any other format is that it allows you a good all round exposure to various aspects of finance, whether it’s accounting, cost accounting, financial modeling, statistics and so on.

Additionally if you choose your minors well, you can have exposure to fields like marketing, behavioral science, human resources etc. Thus giving you the best possible chance for growth in the financial services industry.

However, be warned, that a lot of your ability to jumpstart may be dependent on a combination of economic factors, the strength of your placement cell, your alumni and also your independent ability to network.

If you wish to be on the global stage then do remember that MBAs from Harvard, Stanford, and INSEAD have to do their bit of hunting as well. Even the hallowed IIMs do not officially guarantee you a placement.

Statutory Courses

The Statutory courses are the ones which have been created by acts of parliament and hence create binding obligations under certain circumstances. Under statutory courses we can include the following

2. Chartered Accountant

Probably the most well-known statutory course, this course was created as a result of the enactment of the Chartered Accountants Act in 1949.

The course involves a combination of theory and more importantly practical training which run synchronously to provide student with the necessary wherewithal required of a professional accountant.

A good grounding in this profession creates opportunities few courses can match.

Chartered Accountancy allows you to have rewarding careers in consultancy, audit practice, investment banking, and information technology to name a few.

The profession allows you probably the best chance in finance to create a location independent career. You can find successful chartered accountants in many small towns where a lot many other professions may not flourish.

The chartered accountancy course also opens the doors for an international career. An Indian CA after clearing certain local papers can easily practice in countries like United Kingdom and Australia to name a few. Additionally, with the increasing introduction of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) if you become a chartered accountant then world is your oyster.

3. Cost Accountant

This course came into being as a result of the Cost and Works Accountants Act, 1959. The act regulates the profession of cost and management accountancy.

A Cost and Management Accountant (CMA) is a person who performs services which involve accounting for cost of manufacturing an item, pricing the goods and services produced verification or certification of taxation, especially with respect to indirect taxation.

Unlike pure accounting professionals say chartered accountants, the demand for a cost accountant is a cross organization phenomenon. The marketing department needs you in preparing quotations for tender responses; the production department needs you to make better decisions on a profitable product mix, the purchase department wouldn’t move without the cost accountants advice for taking the make or buy decisions and in top management you play a critical role in identifying business risks and their mitigation.

To use a cricket analogyyou would be the all-rounder in the team.

4. The Company Secretary

The course was a result of the Company Secretaries Act 1980.

The Company Secretary is primarily the mediator between the management and the organization’s board of directors.

Company secretaries are involved in creating policies for the company, maintaining legal records, taking care of public issues, managing mergers and acquisitions related activities. Additionally they liaise as agents of the company while negotiating with a number of government authorities.

A Company secretary has a positive chance of being employed with management consulting firms, banks, corporates and regulatory bodies besides having an option to practice independently.

You as a company secretary are also a sought after professional for positions abroad with multi-national companies. There is a burgeoning demand for Company Secretaries in the UK, the USA, and many other countries in the western world.

With the appropriate set of knowledge and skills, you as a company secretary can look forward to a rewarding career.

5. Actuary

If you are an actuary then your job would be to assess the financial impact of risk and uncertainty.

Actuaries assess the financial security systems, keeping a hawk’s eye on their complexity, the mathematics involved in the same and their mechanisms.

Actuaries try to use mathematics to evaluate the probability of events and minimize the impacts of financial losses associated with an event which is not only uncertain but is undesirable.

Many events like death cannot be avoided, however as an actuary your job is to do the needful to minimize their financial impact if as and when they occur. These risks have the possibility of impacting both sides of the balance sheet. Thus you would be required to have the requisite skills in asset management, liability management, and valuation skills.

An actuary is expected to have the analytical skills, business knowledge and understanding of human behavior which is required to design and manage programs that assess and control risk. If you are an actuary then you would be most likely employed in the Insurance industry but also in corporate houses like Reliance which issues 100 year or perpetual bonds. The profession is governed by the Actuaries act of 2006.

Specialized courses

Specialized courses are the ones where a certain skill set is developed for an industry

6. Chartered Financial Analyst

The Chartered Financial Analyst degree is one of the toughest to crack but probably one of the most rewarding certifications to have.

In fact in the financial services world, the CFA charter holder is one of the few courses which give an MBA-Finance a serious run for money.

If you are a CFA charter holder then you are one of the most valued people in any organization. You are looked up to for your insights backed by analytical inputs.

This certification is extremely useful if you want to make a career in equity research, investment banking or fund management.

However if you choose to pursue this course there is one piece of advice: Start early (Soon after you graduate or along with your MBA), because it takes almost 3 years of dedication and not many are able to crack it for reasons which vary from work pressure, family commitments to sheer boredom of studying for three years.

7. The Certified Financial Planner

If you wish to make a career out of wealth management then being a CFP is almost a must have.

This course gives you in depth training in various aspects of personal finance like tax planning, insurance planning, state planning etc.

You can consider the certified financial planner to be like the general practitioner MBBS.

You as a CFP are the best bet that people have in managing their growing wealth.

You as a CFP would be sought after in banks, wealth management companies, insurance companies, mutual fund and other financial intermediaries.

In India there is a dearth of good financial planners. As per some market estimates, India needs close to 50,000 financial planners and not even 10% has been met.

The CFP certification is valid in 23 countries in the world including Australia, UK etc. Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) India is the authorized regulatory body for this course in India.

8. Economics

Yes that economics degree is also a good bet for making a career in financial services. After all, it’s the economists who create all the policies which determines whether the country grows or flounders.

Economists are valued in the financial services industry for predicting impact of policies that may impact business performance and make informed decisions on how policies would move and how the business should react to the changing policies.

If you chose to become an economist then the financial services world would look to you just like many people look to astrologers, i.e. to understand complex inputs and give guidance on how to use the available resources for creating valuable outputs.

Thus give serious thought to that offer from LSE or near home the Delhi School of Economics.

9. Statistics

A statistician is responsible for the collection, assessment, explanation and presentation of quantitative data.

You as a statistician provide insights, commendations, and advice on policy and strategy to clients within and outside your organization.

You as a statistician are responsible for monitoring data collection and using modeling techniques, both mathematical and statistical. You would also be expected to present your findings along with providing strategic advice on how best to use the results.

Thus do give an honest shot at clearing the M Stats exam at the Indian Statistical Institute.

10. Chartered Alternate Investment Analyst

The CAIA Charter is the globally recognized credential for professionals managing, analyzing, distributing, or regulating alternative investments.

The CAIA Charter designation is the highest standard of achievement in alternative investment education and provides deep knowledge, demonstrated expertise, and global credibility in alternatives.

11. Financial Risk Manager

Since 2008, the element of risk management has come to the fore like anything.

If you were to choose to become a Financial Risk Manager then you would be expected to manage risk that accompanies any investments and would like to broaden their knowledge for the same.

This course is suitable for people seeking employment in risk management in banks, corporates, non-banking financial firms and corporate houses.

This course helps people in their early stages by exposing them to the breadth of the curriculum covering major strategic aspects of risk management;on the other hand the course helps established professional keep up with the latest trends.

12. Financial Modeling and Investment Banking Programs

Financial Modeling skills are must for equity research and investment banking careers.

If you want to make a career in financial research, equity research, investment banking, and other core finance areas, then having MBA or CFA degrees alone won’t help.

You need to learn skills that are required to do the actual work on the job.

You can learn the skills by online or classroom programs.

As per my experience and interaction with students, Indian students prefer classroom programs.

Have I Missed Anything?…

I have covered almost all the courses in finance available in India.

Please let me know if I missed any course or you want to know something specific.

What You Should Know about Asset Management Jobs

 

1x1.trans What You Should Know about Asset Management Jobs

 

There is a huge demand of resources in the space of asset management jobs, and therefore, today in this article I am going to tell you all you need to know in order to start a career in asset management.

But…let us first get a hang of what asset management really is.

As an investor, all your time and efforts go in figuring out how to make more money out of your existing money.

At the core of every finance profile, your objective is again the same.

Whether it is a person’s money or a company’s money – as an asset manager your job is to invest that money in such a way that it gets accumulated more with minimum risk of losing that money.

And, as you earn more money, you come across more avenues of investing it.

As a rich man, or a rich company you wouldn’t have the time to do it all yourself, and that is where asset managers come into picture.

Asset managers are professionals with expertise in diversifying their clients’ portfolio and earning more money for them.
 

Asset Management: Overview

 
Asset management firms administer the investment money of their clients in order to achieve a financial objective within specific guidelines of the investment pool.

It can be in the form of various financial manuscripts like pension funds, retirement funds, hedge funds or simple mutual funds.

It can be done using various financial vehicles like derivatives, options, futures, equity scrips of securities.

Asset managers, depending on the clients’ objectives and risk appetite, would manage the funds and ensure that the financial goals are achieved.
 

Asset Management: Skills and Talents

 
To be able to work in an asset management company, you need to possess a certain set of skills and qualifications in order to be successful.

Following is the list of skills that would be required to get an entry into an asset management firm:
 

1. Finance degree

 
This is the first and foremost requirement of any asset management firm.

You need to have a proper graduate or post graduate degree in finance to start a career as an asset manager.

Preferably the big companies would want specialized courses like CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) for key positions and even MBA (Master of Business Administration) specialized in finance.

It is not mandatory to have such degrees for starting a career in asset management firms, but if you don’t have these degrees you will really have to work your way up to succeed.
 

2. Quantitative and analytical skills

 
Number crunching is at the core of any finance job, and asset management is no different.

You need to be well versed with tools like SPSS and MicroSoft Excel because, you like it or not, you will be surrounded by spreadsheets and workbooks in your job as an asset manager.

You need to be comfortable with using these tools in order to do your analysis.

Financial modeling is another aspect in addition to statistical modelling and forecasting that you need to be aware of.

If you did not study them in your graduation or post graduation, it would be a good idea to take up a specialized course before applying for a job.
 

3. Managerial and communication skills

 
As you will move up the hierarchy in an asset management firm, you will be in charge of your own team for doing a job, and therefore you need to know how to manage your resources.

You would also be involved in front end or client facing activities as a manager, therefore interpersonal and communication skills become extremely important for better performance.

Also, in this position you would be required to take a lot of decisions that would result in big time money making or even loss.

You need to be able to make fast decisions and own up the responsibility for it at a later stage.

Please remember, time is very crucial in decision making as they famously say that time is money. If you lose time in making the right decision, you lose money – and that is not something that you would want to do as an asset manager.
 

Asset Management: Job Options, Description and Salary

 

1. Buy side research analyst

 
It is an inbound profile with very less interaction with the clients.

Analysts in this role conduct financial and equity research in a team (team size may vary from 2-3 analysts to up to 15 analysts) for their fund manager.

Their primary responsibility is to collect data on a particular company or an industry and analyse its financial strength.

They are required to make reports and present their opinions on buy, sell or hold decisions of a particular script or stock.

In addition to this, they are expected to make recommendations to their managers on diversifying the portfolios depending on their research.

Usually the minimum pay in this profile is about USD 150,000 and can go as high as USD 1 million in a Wall Street firm.
 

2. Sell side research analyst

 
The kind of work these sell side research analysts do is quite similar to the buy side research analysts with a small yet significant difference.

Sell side analysts usually cater to the external clients as against internal clients in case of buy side analysts.

The profile is more outward and requires analysts to travel extensively and interact a lot with the outer world.

Whether it is client presentations or media interaction, sell side research analysts have to be good in communication skills and presentation skills.

They are required to make recommendations on investing their clients’ money in a particular company or industry by presenting facts and analysis.

The salaries offered in this profile are similar to that of buy side analysts but the pressure is much more.
 

3. Portfolio manager

 
This is a profile wherein you get to call the shots.

Quite literally this is the ultimate profile within asset management domain for an aspirant.

As against making recommendations on which stock to include in your fund, here you really get to create your own fund depending on your own and your team’s analysis.

As a portfolio manager you will decide the composition of your fund in terms of which scrips to include and how much.

This is an extremely strategic profile and requires a lot of analytical thinking to arrive at a decision.

You will have to work your way up to be able to work efficiently in this profile.

Also, you need to work closely with your team of analysts to understand the research behind every decision that you make.

Typically after 4-5 years of experience as an analyst should get you in this position.

The compensation offered in this profile is quite handsome and can go up to millions of dollars’ worth of money.
 

4. Financial advisor

 
This is more of a business development profile where your primary task is to acquire more business or more clients.

Depending on the requirement of your clients, you would sell a portfolio of investments to your clients.

It can include many funds with different expected dividend.

This is a very senior profile in asset and wealth management domain and requires at least 8-10 years of experience.

The compensation is mostly incentive based and a major part of remuneration comes as a part of commission from the clients.

Firms usually have a base salary which might seem too low but the variable component is very high.
 

5. Relationship manager

 
This is a mid level profile wherein you will handle a specific number of clients.

As a relationship manager you are the mediator between your client and your company.

You will be required to be at your clients’ disposal at all times.

Whether it is compliance, processes or even grievance handling, you will be required to do all of that for your set of clients.

You will also be responsible for educating your clients on now products, services and offerings that your company might have and try to expand the current relationship for more business from the same client.

The compensation in this profile varies from USD 100,000 to USD 175,000.
 

6. Sales manager

 
In this profile, you will be operational in a particular geography.

In that geography you will be required to generate more business by acquiring new clients.

You will be required to make presentation to the prospective clients and convince them to get in a business relationship with your company.

This profile requires a lot of travelling and networking.

If you are an introvert, this is probably not the right profile for you.

As high as 80% of your time could be spent out of office in this profile.

As you wouldn’t be sitting in office, you will have a support team of your own to do the back end job for you.

This back end job involves identifying prospective clients and scheduling appointments for you.

The compensation in this profile starts from USD 150,000 and can go up to as high as USD 500,000.
 

Entry Level Asset Management Jobs

 

1. Fund accountant

 
This is a pure data-centric job wherein you will be required to deal with ledger books and entering data into spreadsheets.

You will be required to record transactions and calculate net asset value of various funds depending on its opening and closing values.

Any basic degree in accounting should be enough for getting a job in this profile.
 

2. Junior research analyst

 
This is usually the most common profile with most of the asset managers start their careers at.

In this profile you would be like an assistant to the research analysts in the company and help them in their day to day activities.

Primary responsibilities include collecting data on a specific company or industry, using both secondary and primary techniques, creating small reports and helping the analysts in their analysis.

This profile gives you immense learning of the industry and exposes to all the facets of asset management.
 

3. Economist

 
This is a profile wherein you would be feeding analysts with the macro economic parameters that could impact the funds.

It involves tracking the monetary policies and deriving their impact of specific industries and economy as a whole.

They do not have a direct involvement in the creation of a fund, but the inputs provided by them are very crucial and often aid the decision making of the portfolio managers.

This is a generic profile and is not restricted to asset management.

The avenues for an economist are usually open beyond asset management.
 

4. Quantitative analysts

 
This is again a generic profile which is not only restricted to asset management.

Here the analysts are required to create models and tools for analysis.

The quantitative analysts will understand the analysis requirement of the research analysts and develop a model that will help them do their analysis in a smooth fashion.

Typically a quantitative analyst will have working knowledge of computing languages like C and Java, as they will be required to write syntaxes and prepare codes for generating new models.
 

Asset Management: Facts and Trends

 
With the advent of the Internet, managing your money has become very convenient and accessible.

There are more investors today than there ever were.

The people are getting aware of financial planning and are investing their money more in non traditional vehicles.

A simple reason is that traditional investments like insurance and government bonds give lesser returns when compared to modern investment vehicles like mutual funds.

In a survey conducted in the USA in 2008, it was noticed that nearly 50% of the people there owned mutual funds, and the number is fast increasing.

With such trend in the investment circle around the world, asset management firms are going to prosper and flourish.

It means that they would need more people to work for them.

Every year there are thousands of trainees hired by firms like Wells Fargo, Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs.

And this demand is going to increase in the future as well.

It is an opportune time for you to consider asset management as a lucrative career option.

Hope this asset management jobs guide gave you clarity on jobs in asset management.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to comment below.