Some financial analysts make their millions advising high-risk, high-return investments, branding themselves as the cowboys of the financial world. Risk managers, on the other hand, are more like the librarians of the Wild West. Their specialty is ensuring that their clients' profits are maximized through diversification and hedging.
If you feel called to this more sage-like financial position, you will likely need at least a bachelor's degree in finance, business administration, accounting, statistics, or economics. Career requirements for risk management usually require advanced coursework in these areas. Many employers highly prefer candidates with a master's degree in finance or business administration.
Part of the career requirements for risk management is usually a license from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Most of these licenses can only be obtained through sponsorship by an employer, meaning that independent risk managers will have to associate themselves with some kind of large securities firm. Almost all risk managers who function as personal financial advisers will have to obtain a Series 7 license and a Series 63 or 66 license. These licenses allow risk managers to give financial advice.
Because risk management is a competitive and lucrative field, you may consider seeking a certification, though it is not a technically a career requirement for risk management. Two popular certifications are the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and the Certified Financial Planner credential. Both require educational achievement, passing an exam, and a number of a years of documented work experience.
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