Financial services are a broad category of industry that includes banks, credit unions, insurance companies, credit card providers and more. They help consumers manage their money and debt, invest for the future and take advantage of new technology. But navigating the world of financial services can be challenging, especially for people considering a career change or entry into the field. Thankfully, there are many different roles within the industry that pave the way for an exciting and successful financial services career.
The financial services sector is one of the most important sectors of the economy, providing essential products and services to both consumers and businesses alike. It is also a major source of employment in many countries. But while there are countless opportunities in this industry, not all of them lead to lucrative and successful careers. To break into the field, you need a solid network of connections and a willingness to work hard and learn on the job. The good news is that many entry-level jobs in the sector do not require a college degree.
While it may seem obvious that there is a difference between a product and a service, not all people understand the distinction. For instance, a mortgage is a financial product that is a good, but a loan is a service that is required to obtain the product. This is the core of what makes financial services so essential to society, as they help people obtain and secure the products that they need to live their lives.
There are a number of subsectors within the financial services sector, each offering a specific set of products and services. Some of the more popular include:
Banking services – Banks are a common part of most people’s financial lives. They collect deposits from people who have money to lend to those who need it, and in return charge a fee in the form of interest. Banks are also able to provide other services, including depositing and withdrawing funds, as well as issuing checks (like cashier’s check and certified check).
Investment services – Investment firms offer clients advice and guidance on buying, selling, and trading stocks and other assets. They also offer retirement planning services and life insurance policies.
Other services – Debt resolution – A service that helps individuals with too much debt to qualify for bankruptcy. It is a less formal process than bankruptcy, but can still help them get back on their feet after an unforeseen event. Financial market utilities – Organizations that are part of the infrastructure of the financial services industry, such as stock and commodity exchanges and payment systems.
As the industry continues to evolve, more and more companies are combining their financial services offerings into a single unit. This trend, called financial conglomerates, is most prominent in the United States. For example, Berkshire Hathaway is a financial services giant that owns several companies, including the insurance giants GEICO and National Indemnity.