Finance is an umbrella term for things about the science, development, and implementation of financial investments and money. This includes the study of the interaction of financial instruments with other economic aspects. For example, it includes the principles governing banks, money, financial markets, and nations. The study of finance deals with all the processes that involve money such as creating, preserving, trading, and investing. In business terms, finance is the science of funds management. Basically, it studies how different assets and financial instruments interact to influence the prices, production, distribution, and status of any particular economy or nation.
Finance in the United States has developed into one of the most important branches of economics. It influences almost all areas of economic activity in the country. Large corporations depend on it for lending and borrowing, as do governments. Banks provide major businesses and individuals with the tools they need to manage their finances; major corporations seek financing for mergers and acquisitions, bank loans, and corporate credit card debts. All of these things are needed to keep the US economy growing.
A career in economics requires many years of study and work. Students must learn everything from macroeconomics, which studies the effects of economic policies on the size and stability of the national economy, to microeconomics, which studies the effects of individual decisions on the level of output and consumption within a specific economy. In order to be successful in an area of economics, students must be excellent students of market activity, business theory, and psychology. They should also be experts in reading financial statements, preparing financial reports, developing financial proposals, and evaluating financial markets.
The first three areas of specialization in economics are behavioral finance, institutional finance, and macroeconomics. Learning about the difference between each of these is important prior to entering the field. The term behavioral finance refers to the study of how people and institutions interact with each other to make financial decisions. Institutional finance refers to government programs and policies that guide banks and other lending institutions in their lending decisions.
Investing in the stock and bond market is not the only way to invest in the US economy. Finance graduates can also look to alternative investments, such as real estate, bonds, commodities, mutual funds, and the financial markets. One of the most popular forms of investment today is what is called venture capital. Venture capital is invested in high risk endeavors such as software and technology companies, private companies, hedge funds, and newer companies.
Finance graduates can tailor their career to suit their interests by attending classes focusing on one or more of the four main areas of finance. Banking and bond investing are two of the largest and most stable of these fields, but there are many other opportunities as well. The key to finding a lucrative career in the banking and bond markets is to know about the different investment strategies and to be able to apply financial mathematics to these investments and other forms of capital markets.