“Your profession is not what brings home your weekly paycheck, your profession is what you’re put here on earth to do, with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.” ― Vincent van Gogh
A career in Finance… This is something I have not thought about in a while.
When someone thinks of the word ‘Finance’, it makes you think of money. After all, the word is synonymous with money – the use and, unfortunately, abuse of it but that is for a different time. So, when someone thinks of a career in Finance, the thought that springs to mind is making money, and a lot of it.
Although that view is a bit cynical, it is warranted. After all, you see in the news, worldwide even, of bankers or high financiers making morally questionable or even straight-out illegal deals just for their own pocketbooks. In fact, one of the biggest news recently in the financial sphere is the Gamestop (NYSE: GME) trade where Redditors worldwide bought up shares in the video game company bringing it to new heights just to oppose some hedge funds and as a way to ‘stick it’ to the ‘man’ – it’s a bit more complicated than that but for the purposes of this article, I digress.
It then begs the question, “why would anyone vie for a career in Finance?” Aside from making gobs of money, of course.
There is a deeper purpose.
I don’t want to seem like I’m tooting my own horn or justifying the fact that I’m working in this industry, but I honestly believe that there is a real meaning to working in this industry. Finance, in a way, is an enabler of dreams.
After a recent conversation with a moneylender, I gained clarity that what we, Finance Professionals, do is to help people by directing capital to where it should be. Putting this in context, the moneylender told me that her business has made her feel fulfilled by seeing the outcome of her loans: a businessman managed to grow his restaurant, a family managed to finance their child’s education and a couple managed to make important repairs on their home.
Then, there is also the insurance agent whose client managed to ensure their child’s (the beneficiary) needs from day-to-day spending to their college tuition fees after an untimely passing. Consider also that the premiums spent on that insurance policy freed up more funds so that the client, when still alive, could spend it on their family instead of keeping it in reserve.
Another, an investment banker, has helped a multi-generational family business grow into a national giant after helping the family list their business in the stock market and raised billions in capital.
There is also the stockbroker who guided a client’s stock market investments towards helping them achieve their pre- and retirement goals.
Finally, there is the Registered Financial Consultant, who can combine all their knowledge on personal finance and craft a fully customized financial plan that should provide guidance on their client’s life goals.
With all of the many ways a Finance Professional can help a client, it is pretty evident that we can use our domain-specific knowledge to truly help people. This is also why we must act as proper stewards of capital and not misuse our position in the economy to truly enable people’s dreams. After all, we are the first line of defense, in a sense, as we must ensure that this money is directed in the right way.
A career in Finance does bring in good money but, more importantly, it can help those who also need it the most. So, when someone ever asks me what kind of career one should consider, I wouldn’t hesitate on saying: “Finance, there’s more to it than just money and you have a ton of options too.”
Disclaimer: Just a reminder, dear reader, that the content in this column is my opinion only and should not be construed as investment advice because I am not your financial adviser, neither did I take into consideration your personal objectives, financial situation, needs or circumstances as your fiduciary. This column is mainly for your entertainment and education only.