Financial services include the businesses that provide banking, credit, investment, insurance and a variety of other financial products and services. This industry includes a broad range of institutions, such as brokerage firms, banks, credit unions and credit-card companies. It also includes more specialized sectors, such as debt resolution and global payment systems. The industry is a vital one that provides individuals, small businesses, large corporations and even the government with access to the financial resources they need to thrive.
Most people understand that they need to use a financial service to deposit money in their bank accounts and to withdraw funds when needed. However, many don’t realize that there are a variety of other important financial services. These include:
Private equity providers and venture capitalists invest capital in companies in exchange for ownership stakes or profit participation. This is a big part of the financial services industry and it can help bring new technologies to market faster and more effectively.
Securities traders buy and sell securities (often referred to as shares) on behalf of their clients. This is a huge sector of the industry that helps to make markets efficient and can drive economic growth. It is very risky and requires a lot of expertise to do well.
Insurance companies protect individuals, businesses and organizations against loss or damage that could be caused by unforeseen events. This sector includes both life and property insurance as well as other types of insurance.
Debt resolution companies help consumers reduce or eliminate debt that they have accrued through loans and other sources. This can help consumers avoid bankruptcy and can allow them to reestablish their credit history. Financial market utilities provide the essential infrastructure for the other sectors of the financial services industry. These can include stock, derivatives and commodity exchanges as well as real-time gross settlement systems and interbank networks.
Financial services also support microenterprises by providing budding entrepreneurs with the capital they need to start a business and hire employees. This can increase employment opportunities and improve living standards in a community.
The financial services industry supports the government by raising long-term and short-term funds through the money market and by allowing it to meet its foreign exchange requirements through the currency markets. Financial services are also important for a country’s economy because they allow citizens to purchase goods and services without having to save every penny.
Choosing a career in financial services can be extremely rewarding. You will learn a wide range of skills that can be used in any industry and you will have the opportunity to work with many different types of people. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind before making the decision to pursue a job in this field. One is the stress that can be associated with this type of work. It can be very demanding and can result in burnout if you are not careful. Another is that the rules and regulations of this sector are constantly changing.