Financial services include the making, investment and management of money for both individuals and organizations; for example trading shares in the stock market or helping people put their spare change away for a rainy day. The industry is also responsible for credit card networks like Visa and MasterCard, debt resolution services, global payment systems and a number of other specialized financial services such as accounting, tax filing, wire transfer and currency exchange.
One of the most popular sectors within financial services is insurance. This is because everyone needs a safety net from time to time – whether it’s health, car or home insurance that covers an expensive repair bill or life, disability and general insurance covering unexpected loss or death.
Another important sector of the industry is asset management which includes managing pensions, insurance assets, hedge funds and mutual funds. This sector also oversees the redistribution of risk. The tertiary sector of the economy grows and thrives with the help of financial services companies which facilitate the purchase of goods and services by providing loans, hire purchase, leasing and housing finance.
The industry is complex and diverse, with a host of different career paths to choose from. Many jobs require a high level of technical and analytical skills but the rewards can be significant. However, some of the sector’s jobs can be stressful and demanding. It’s not unusual for some roles to involve working 16 to 20 hours a day, and work-life balance may be difficult to achieve.