The financial services industry encompasses the businesses that manage money and invest funds for their clients. These businesses include banks, credit unions, and credit-card companies. They also include asset management, investment firms, and insurance agencies. Financial services are the backbone of a nation’s economy, providing support for other sectors of the economy through their lending and investing activities.
While the field of finance might seem intimidating, the career options are endless and can be tailored to your specific skillset. While a degree is helpful in this sector, it is not required for many roles. In addition, many professionals in this sector enjoy a high level of job satisfaction.
Unlike other consumer goods, financial services are not tangible. They are more like a safety net that provides for the unforeseen, such as hospital bills and car repairs. Because of this, they are more valuable than the products themselves.
Financial institutions provide the means for families to store and grow their savings, invest in assets or consumer durables, build their homes or expand their microenterprises, and access credit and insurance. They also help poor families secure the loans needed to pay their children’s school fees, buy life insurance, and get healthcare.
The financial services industry also includes debt resolution, global payment providers such as Visa and Mastercard, accounting and tax services, money transfer services, and financial market utilities (e.g. stock and derivative exchanges, clearing houses, and real-time gross settlement systems). While these services might not be as exciting as the products they produce, they are necessary for the functioning of a free market.