In short, finance is the process of providing funds to individuals, businesses, and investors for investment, production, or both. This form of capital is provided by financial institutions. These entities lend capital to other people, businesses, and investors, making it an important part of any economic system. Whether the funds are for personal use, business investments, or both, they can be used for all kinds of activities. But, to do so, companies must borrow funds from other sources, and this is where finance comes in.
Finance originated in the 1940s, and many of its theories have ties to other fields of science. The first economist to study finance was Markowitz, while the second was Tobin. These economists created the modern field of finance. Others, including Black and Scholes, helped define the discipline. Although it’s difficult to trace the origins of finance, the field is generally split into three broad categories. Public finance includes tax systems, government expenditures, budget procedures, and stabilization policies. Meanwhile, corporate finance is concerned with the management of companies’ assets, liabilities, and revenues. Personal finance includes saving, budgeting, and mortgage planning.
Personal finance deals with the budgets of families, the investment of personal savings, and the use of consumer credit. Consumer durable goods such as automobiles and home appliances are also financed by banks. Charge accounts and credit cards are also common forms of short-term consumer credit. Lastly, small cash loans are available from banks, credit unions, and finance companies. In short, finance involves the channeling of money from savers to users. This process is a critical part of economic activity.
Banking is another important aspect of personal finance. Individuals use checking and savings accounts and can also use mobile payment services. Meanwhile, corporate finance involves the financial activities of large corporations. The finance department oversees these activities and is often responsible for making investment decisions. In large companies, for example, it may be necessary to raise additional funds through a stock or bond offering. In such a case, an investment bank may provide advice to the company or market its securities.
Whether an individual is a consumer or a business, finances are essential to the functioning of an economy. Without finance, it would be hard for people to buy much of what they need. Without access to this type of money, individuals and organizations would have trouble making purchases, generating income, and reducing debt. With access to affordable loans, the financial services industry continues to grow. However, the services of financial services have been more regulated than ever before.
When considering which career path to take after graduation, consider the following seven common finance careers. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it provides a good idea of the direction you can take in the field. For each of these areas, consider attending finance-specific events, joining student organizations, and developing strong analytical skills. Also, make sure you explore the various professional designations and personal communication skills. There are also a wide variety of job opportunities in finance.