Careers in the finance sector are sought-after because they’re generally rewarding and lucrative. Some positions tend to be more popular than others, but there are a few which deserve more attention than they usually receive. Dany Mawas, Regional Director at INFINOX Capital, shares some insights into these positions, which professionals and students could do well to consider.

Accounting, insurance, and banking are among the most popular career avenues in finance; however, there are other career choices that are fulfilling, high-paying (in excess of R400 000 per annum), and well worth investigating.

Public market investor:

This is a role that manages investments of both stocks and bonds. The investor needs to ensure that their portfolios, or those they’re being paid to manage, are correctly balanced. Understanding risk across various asset classes is a key skill in this type of job, and learning with multi-asset providers helps traders to determine how much risk they have in any given market.

Private capital investor:

These professionals invest in equity or debt securities of privately held companies, real estate, or other assets.

Financial analyst:

Analysts are often not spoken about because they’re not as ‘glamorous’ as traders. An analyst will do all the in-depth analysis of a financial market, but their personality traits tend to be different from that of a trader. They are paid a normal monthly salary, no matter what the markets do, whereas if the markets turn against a trader, this will often affect his/her salary.

Financial trader:

Financial trading is a relatively well-known career, but not many people go into it in a professional capacity. This is because it is difficult to get backing without a track record. Often, the only way to get a track record is by using one’s own funds to start with, which can be seen as risky. To use one’s own funds and become a professional trader, trading must become one’s primary source of income. The trader must therefore be in a position to skip a salary for a month, because all traders will have good and bad spells when trading. 

Global commodity trader:

New traders are often attracted by the forex market because of its liquidity; however, once they get used to trading, they soon see the opportunities in commodities, indices, and the stock market. Traders often change the markets they trade as their knowledge and experience grow.

Buy-side traders:

This role is one of the first steps on the ladder to becoming a professional trader. Traditionally, they execute the trades which are decided by other people or algorithms. They understand how to get the best price using the platform they have.

The abovementioned careers may sometimes be overlooked because of the element of risk they carry. The risk involved is that the traders could lose their own or their investors’ money. Being able to manage risk is a key skill in these roles and something that is not naturally taught or learnt in other jobs.

Technology and AI

Most positions are being supported more and more by technology. Technology is here to stay, so for long-term success, new technologies and platforms need to be understood. 

When it comes to predictions regarding future career opportunities in the trading sector, considering that artificial intelligence (AI) is fast dominating the industry, humans will still play a vital role.

AI will have a growing influence. Automation is already a key element in trading – being able to take a trade while you’re not watching the markets allows for flexibility and freedom. There will be more and more jobs involving AI in the future, but it won’t completely remove the need for humans in the financial markets. The markets are driven by human emotion, and so, while a robot may be able to predict, it won’t be able to drive the price.