Be a better financial writer: 4 ways to sharpen your financial game

Whether you’re a seasoned financial writer who wants to navigate nuanced topics or a general copy writer who wants to improve your depth of knowledge, continuing financial education is essential. If you want to land complex assignments and assure clients that you’re fluent in their language, check out these four ways to sharpen your game:

  1. Get in the news flow: Subscribe to several relevant financial publications. The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and The Economist are a good start for mainstream news. Specialized publications feature interpretation and analysis of market moves and industry trends. Some popular choices include Barron’s, Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, Breakfast with Dave, Investor’s Business Daily and Institutional Investor.

Niche publications can help you stay current on a specific corner of the financial world – for example, The Deal specializes in intelligence on financial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, and private equity exits.

While you won’t add “avid newspaper reader” to your resume, the habit will build your financial vocabulary and help you write better, more topical pitches and pieces than you would if you didn’t keep up to date.

  1. New York Institute of Finance certificate: You can put this one on your resume. Attend classes online or on-site to obtain a professional certificate. Programs range from introductory (Capital Markets Professional Certificate) to specific (Advanced Derivatives Professional Certificate). Completing a course earns you a certificate of completion, and if you score 70 percent or above on the final exam, you’ll receive a certificate of mastery.
  1. CFA Institute Investment Foundations™ certificate: Designed for anyone who works in the investment world – from information technology teams to marketing folks – the program is built to give a clear understanding of how the investment management industry works. Its modules cover investment instruments, ethics and regulations. You’ll study with an e-book and use the online learning platform, then take the exam at a local testing center.
  1. University certificate programs: Most universities offer finance courses through their continuing and professional studies departments. For example, the NYU School of Professional Studies offers several self-paced online classes, including focused topics, such as real estate capital markets. Many universities also offer robust curricula, like Georgetown University’s corporate finance certificate program, which requires completion of seven in-person courses.

Writers who work exclusively in finance may also consider obtaining a FINRA Series 7 license or earning the Chartered Financial Analyst® credential. Both have stringent eligibility and registration requirements.

How do you continually build your financial knowledge? Let us know in the comments below.

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