Finance is a broader term encompassing many things regarding the study, production, and allocation of funds. All other financial fields are included in finance research. Finance is an important subject for anyone who has a job that involves financial decision making. Finance research can be done at any level of business.
The scope and definition of finance are vast. At the most basic level, finance is the method by which money is made to be invested. This includes making investments to purchase raw goods such as grain, livestock, and lands, and creating capital assets, such as plant and property inventory. Other methods of financing include making use of borrowing money from banks and other lending institutions, or obtaining credit from private individuals, the government, and other entities such as corporations. A wide variety of financial products, including commercial paper, are created through the process of financing.
There are two major branches of the finance field: private money management and public finance. Public finance concerns governmental organizations such as the government, universities, hospitals, colleges, and other non-profit organizations. Private money management is concerned with managing individual wealth. Finance research deals mainly with how individuals and institutions save, invest, and spend their money. A good Finance degree program will give students a solid background in all these areas.
Today’s financial planning field includes a wide variety of topics. These include long-term planning, which includes retirement and investment; purchasing a home and other residential real estate; creating a college education; and saving for travel and vacationing. Almost every aspect of your financial well being can be improved by some smart investing and effective money management.
Private financial services include estate planning, working capital management, insurance, and banking. Real estate planning includes purchasing and rehabbing a home, renting an apartment, and developing land. Real estate investment typically involves using loans to purchase property, which can then be used to create rental income. Working capital management handles your cash flow requirements before and after you make a purchase and after you close on a loan. Insurance helps to insure your savings, retirement funds, and life insurance. Banking refers to the financial services you use to obtain loans and other financial products such as checking accounts, certificates of deposits, and electronic cash transactions.
The final major branch of the finance field is asset management. This area of finance deals primarily with the sale, exchange, and consolidation of financial goods or assets. Assets can include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, commodities, and international financial goods and assets. Asset management includes mortgage, secured loans, unsecured loans, and title loans. All of these financial services sectors have a great deal to offer to people who wish to better manage their finances.
If you are interested in entering any of the various areas of finance mentioned above, it is important that you get a strong education. In particular, you must be prepared to take courses in finance, banking, economics, and accounting. You should also have experience working in the field. Some of the best graduate-level programs in business, law, and accountancy have been offered by prestigious universities like Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and MIT. Your undergraduate degree will also prepare you for positions in corporate finance and public finance. You can choose to major in a field that interests you.
One area that many students do well in is behavioral finance. Behavioral finance is an area of study that studies the expectations and behaviors of investors and borrowers. Students who choose to major in this field can expect to gain a great deal of experience in business, law, and accountancy. Those interested in public finance, corporate finance, and debt management can consider attending graduate schools that offer courses in public finance, or debt management. No matter what area of finance you would like to pursue, there is an excellent choice for you at a reputable school.