Many analytic jobs involve developing views, writing reports, and disseminating them to the public or clients. 'Quants,'
on the other hand, work behind the scenes, developing mathematical models to assist analysts in their predictions. Computer
programmers and math majors may find a rewarding career in finance. A quant can earn tremendous sums of money, if a talented
individual is able to build software or mathematical models that outperform the market on a regular basis. These jobs consist
of looking for patterns in data, watching for market trends based on underlying economic or psychological factors, then
forecasting market movements.
Along more traditional lines, NASDAQ offers a wealth of securities' investing tutorials, and live streams of data from it's online network of websites, headquartered at Nasdaq.com
. At a minimum, browse their stock screener and financial analysis pages. Below, find links directly to Nasdaq pages, offering updated interactive charts, volume trading, summary quotes, and IPO disclosures.
NASDAQ Stock Market
Liquidity Ratios: Acid Test
Liquidity ratios are used to help assess whether a business has sufficient cash or equivalent current assets
to be able to pay its debts as they fall due within the year. A business that finds that it does not have the
cash to settle its debts becomes insolvent. The formula for the acid test ratio is Current Assets minus
Inventory, divided by Liabilities. The reason is that not all assets can liquidated into cash at fair market
value. Notably, raw materials and large inventories of product must first be sold, and then cash collected
from debtor accounts.
The Acid Test Ratio, sometimes also called the Quick Ratio, adjusts the Current Ratio to eliminate those
current assets that are not already in cash form. An acid test ratio of over 1.0 is good news; the business is
well-placed to be able to pay its debts even if it cannot turn inventories into cash. Care has to be taken
when interpreting the acid test ratio. The value of inventory that a business needs to hold will vary
considerably. For example, you wouldn’t expect a law firm to carry inventory, but a major supermarket
carries a large dollar value of inventory at any given time.
Credit Card Interest, Credit Scores
Student credit cards are easy to obtain via an online application, but monthly payments can be difficult to manage. As with most
credit cards, the interest rates may be high, and there may be an annual fee to pay. Beyond this, however, be aware that the credit
card company can raise your interest rates if you are late on even one payment. Student credit cards should be used as a last resort if
you need to buy a computer for school, and have a steady job, or other regular income to pay off the credit card in full within a few
months. You can get a free credit report online, or check your credit score at one of the 'Big 3' Credit Bureaus, Transunion, Experian, or Equifax.
Build your credit with a secured credit card for students. There are no application fees or activation fees, and the credit line varies,
from $300-$4,900. Your maximum credit line is based on your income as well as the amount of your security deposit. Given that
you make the minimum payment monthly, your credit history and credit card account information will be shared with all three major
credit bureaus. After 12 months, your security deposit may be returned if your payment history has been excellent. Apply now for a
secured credit card from Bank of America, or an American Express credit
You can improve your credit score dramatically by securing credit cards, and then simply not using your credit line. Your credit score
is a ratio of your total available credit to the amount of debt that you carry. For example, if you get more credit cards, and don't use
the credit, your available credit has increased, but your debt load has remained constant. Banks and credit unions naturally offer the
easiest credit to the borrowers who need it least, and have strict employment and earnings requirements. You may also be asked to
list your assets, or seek a co-signer, if you don't have sufficient income to qualify for a credit card on your own.
When applying for a credit card like the Wells Fargo
Platinum Visa credit card, note that many cards promote no annual fee for the first year, but then hit you with a high annual fee
in following years. You can also incur fees by taking out a cash advance, which is usually charged back at a higher interest rate, if not
paid in full within the same billing period. You are told that you can get cash back on certain purchases, but no-one mentions that
the interest charges over time may be higher in fact, than your savings. In addition, there are hidden transaction fees, and charges for
using your credit card overseas. Using your credit card to buy things you don't really need, or to get cash advances, is just not smart
financial planning. There are better ways to get the extra money that you need.
Financial Job Descriptions
There are several credentials that finance professionals must possess to begin working.
If you are planning to break into finance as a broker, you'll need a Series 7 license, as well as a Series 63 license.
These will allow you to sell stocks, bonds, and other securities in those states that your firm is registered in.
For those that wish to work as equity traders, this field requires a Series 55 license. Exams are difficult and will require preparation.
Analysts are required to pass the Series 16 supervisory analyst exam, which permits distribution of analytical reports. Further,
analysts may take the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam.
Hedge funds are well-known for taking on greater risk, focusing on very high returns. Hedge funds have few
restrictions on how they can invest, so your job security rests squarely on your ability to earn above-market returns.
In order to prove yourself in this highly-competitive field, expect very long hours, and high stress. Large firms
manage a variety of asset classes, while boutique firms focus on a particular market niche, such as small-cap stocks
or high-yield bonds. While hedge funds and money managers buy and sell securities, private equity firms purchase
entire corporations, seeking to either resell the companies outright, or take them public. Your job duties may include
analyzing potential purchases, negotiating deals, raising financing, or working directly on portfolio profitability.
Real estate firms attempt to either develop new real estate projects or purchase existing projects. Finance jobs at a
real estate company include working as a financing specialist, analyst or deal manager. Institutional investment
managers invest money for a pension fund, sovereign wealth fund, or an insurance company, in an effort to
generate returns over time. Your role may be that of an investment analyst, portfolio manager or currency trader.
Banks are at the heart of the finance industry, financing trade or infrastructure deals, and managing the money of
wealthy people. The range of careers in banking is enormous, and often includes beginning as a teller, or
accountancy, then working up into branch management or corporate positions. Work is available in specialist areas
such as insurance, lending, foreign currency, investment management, trade finance, and financial control.
Investment banks give strategic advice to corporations, provide corporate financing, and trade in stocks, bonds, and
other securities, often using automated, high-speed trading software. One of the primary functions of investment banks
is raising capital. This function falls upon the underwriting department. Bankers in the underwriting department specialize
either in debt underwriting or equity. Private equity jobs can be found within an investment bank but most are found at
specialist firms. Some of the largest private equity firms include Blackstone, KKR and TPG.
Accounting Balance Sheet
The accounting balance sheet is one of the major financial statements used by accountants and business
owners. The other major financial statements are the income statement, statement of cash flows, and
statement of stockholders' equity. The balance sheet presents a company's financial position at the end of
a specified date. Because the balance sheet informs the reader of a company's financial position, as well as
what it owes to other parties, this is valuable information.
Assets are the resources of the company, and have future economic value that can be measured
in dollars. Assets commonly cover cash on hand, accounts receivable, buildings and equipment, but also
include costs paid in advance such as prepaid advertising, prepaid insurance, prepaid legal fees, and prepaid rent.
Examples of asset accounts that are reported on the balance sheet may include, but are not limited to:
• Petty Cash
• Temporary Investments
• Accounts Receivable
• Prepaid Insurance
• Land & Improvements
• Bond Issue Costs
• Allowance for Doubtful Accounts
• Accumulated Depreciation - Land & Buildings
• Accumulated Depreciation - Equipment
• Accumulated Depletion
Accounting Liabilities are obligations of the company, amounts owed to creditors for a past
transaction, or payables such as wages, rents, or taxes. Along with owner's equity,
liabilities can be thought of as a source of the company's assets, as well as a claim
against a company's assets. Liabilities may also include amounts received in advance for
future services, reported as Unearned Revenues or Customer Deposits. Typical liabilities include the following:
• Notes Payable
• Accounts Payable
• Salaries Payable
• Wages Payable
• Interest Payable
• Other Accrued Expenses Payable
• Income Taxes Payable
• Customer Deposits
• Warranty Liability
• Lawsuits Payable
• Unearned Revenues
• Bonds Payable
• Discount on Notes Payable
• Discount on Bonds Payable
A company's commitment to purchase goods may be legally binding, but is not considered a liability
on the balance sheet until actual services or goods have been received.
Commitments must be disclosed in the notes appending the balance sheet. Similarly,
the leasing of an asset may appear to be a rental cost, but in substance it may involve an
agreement to purchase the asset and finance it through monthly payments. Therefore, accountants
must look past outward appearances, and focus on the substance of business transactions.
Contingent Liabilities include warranty of a company's products, the guarantee of another party's loan,
and lawsuits filed against a company. If the contingent loss is highly probable, and the amount of the
loss can be estimated, the company needs to record a liability on its balance sheet and a loss on its
income statement. However, if the contingent loss is only a remote possibility, no liability or loss is
recorded and there is no need at that time to include the matter in notes to the financial statements.
The income statement is often referred to as a profit and loss statement (P&L), statement of
operations, or statement of income. The income statement is important because it shows the profitability
of a company during the time interval specified in its heading. The income statement shows revenues, expenses, gains,
and losses, but it does not include cash receipts nor cash disbursements. This information is collected in a Statement of Cash Flows.
Revenues from primary activities are often referred to as operating revenues.
The primary activities of a business are purchasing merchandise or raw materials and selling products,
referred to as sales revenues or sales. The primary activities of a company that provides services involve selling expertise to clients.
For companies providing services, the revenues from their primary services are referred to as service revenues or fees.
It is common in business to extend a modest amount of time to repeat customers to pay for purchases. For example,
if a retailer gives customers 30 days to pay, revenues occur (and are reported) when the merchandise is sold to the buyer,
not when the cash is received 30 days later.
Non-operating Revenues are amounts a business earns outside of purchasing and selling goods and services.
For example, when a retail business earns interest on some of its idle cash, or sells an commodity investment for a capital gain,
these revenues result from an activity outside of buying and selling merchandise. As a result the revenues are reported on the
income statement separate from its primary activity of sales or service income.
Expenses involved in primary activities are expenses that are incurred in order to earn normal operating revenues.
Under the accrual basis of accounting, the cost of goods sold and expenses are matched to sales and the accounting period
when they are used, not the period in which they are paid. Because of the cost principle and inflation, the expenses shown on the
income statement reflect costs that may have different present values. An accountant, though, is not allowed the luxury of waiting
until things are known with certainty, so in order to properly account for revenues when they are earned, and expenses when they are
incurred, accountants must often use cost estimates.
Secondary Expenses are referred to as non-operating expenses. For example, interest expense is a non-operating expense because it involves
the finance function of the business, rather than the primary activities of buying, producing and selling merchandise. Losses such as the loss from the sale of long-term assets,
or the loss on lawsuits result from a transaction that is outside of a business's primary activities.
A loss is reported as the net of two amounts: the amount listed for the item on the company's books (book value)
minus the proceeds received from the sale. A loss occurs when the proceeds are less than the original book value.
Net Income occurs when the net amount of revenues and gains minus expenses and losses is positive,
the bottom line of the company's performance. If the net amount is negative, there is a net loss.
A company's ability to operate profitably is paramount to both lenders and investors, company management,
labor unions, and government regulators.
Finance Program Rankings - Undergraduate
Beyond preparing you for graduate programs in business, studying finance can open doors for
you in the fields of investment banking, securities analysis, and business start-ups.
1. Stanford University - Stanford, CA|
2. University of Chicago - Chicago, IL
3. University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA
4. New York University (NYU) - New York, NY
5. Princeton University - Princeton, NJ
6. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI
7. Duke University - Durham, NC
8. University of Texas Austin - Austin, TX
9. Northwestern University - Evanston, IL
10. Boston College - Chestnut Hill, MA
11. Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, PA
12. Michigan State University - East Lansing, MI
13. Penn State University - State College, PA
14. Purdue University - West Lafayette, IN
15. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign - Champaign, IL
16. University of North Carolina (UNC) - Chapel Hill, NC
17. University of Southern California (USC) - Los Angeles, CA
18. University of Wisconsin - Madison, WI
19. Georgetown University - Washington, DC
20. University of Oregon - Eugene, OR
21. Indiana University - Bloomington, IN
22. Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, MD
23. Rutgers University - Camden, NJ
24. University of California San Diego (UCSD) - La Jolla, CA
25. University of Florida - Gainesville, FL
26. University of Maryland - College Park, MD
27. University of Virginia - Charlottesville, VA
28. Brigham Young University - Provo, UT
29. City University of New York (CUNY) - New York, NY
30. Iowa State University - Ames, IA
Source: US News, Forbes, and Bloomberg
LIST OF US COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES:
On our pages, you can find career training and listings of engineering jobs, updated hourly. This website is not affiliated with any educational institution, and all trademarks are exclusive property of the respective owners. College Inspector is the work of a group of Thai students in Bangkok, using info from the US Department of Education, Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). If any stats are incorrect, please contact us with the right data.