An investment bank works for individuals, organizations and companies. As an investment banker, you will have to perform an array of tasks that include raising capital for a budding entrepreneur, helping companies with Initial Public Offering (IPO), assisting with acquisition and merger of companies and guiding your clients on how to make bigger profits by investing in bonds, mutual funds and stocks.
The job often involves a lot of traveling all over the country, and many times, even abroad as well. It is because the clients are located in different cities. You have to travel to meet them and discuss investment and other financial strategies with them.
No doubt it is a rewarding career, but you must keep in mind that you may have to work 90-100 hours per week. Following are some of the basic steps you need to follow to become an investment banker.
Steps To Become An Investment Banker
Obtain Educational Qualifications
As of now, no colleges or universities in the United Sates of America offer any specific major in investment banking. But, you must have at least a Masters degree in accounting, business, economics or finance. After obtaining the degree, you must complete an internship in an investment bank. During the internship, you may get an opportunity to accompany your investment banker mentor and join meetings with clients, where you can get practical hands-on experience on how to deal with such clients.
Work As An Entry Level Analyst
It is practically almost impossible for anyone to enter the industry directly as a certified investment banker. In general, you first have to get a job as an entry level analyst in an investment banking firm and gain some solid work experience.
You may have to work as an analyst for 2-5 years before you can apply for the position of investment banker.
You must also fulfill certain legal formalities. In order to work as an investment banker, you must first register with at least the state securities agencies. However, if your job involves managing over $100 million in client assets, you will also have to get registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In general, when a firm appoints you as an investment banker, it also guides you on how to get registered and certified.
Depending upon the nature of your job and the career path you have planned for yourself, you may have to obtain many types of certifications also. Most of these certifications are issued by the FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority). FINRA is the biggest independent regulator in the US that offers certifications to investment banking firms and monitors their activities. In general, most investment bankers have to obtain at least the ‘Series 7 General Securities Representative Qualification certifications’.
If you want to excel in this field, you must be ready to work for long hours everyday. An investment banker often has to work overtime to prepare for the meetings. You will be spending a lot of time on phone calls, brainstorming new ideas and strategies, doing financial analysis and attending meetings.
If you fulfill the above requirements and are willing to put in the hard work, you can easily earn anywhere from $4000 to $25000 per week working as an investment banker.