Over the course of the last several decades, many industries have developed associations, and a financial career is no exception. These associations were primarily formed to lobby for the companies’ and employees’ interests in Washington, DC, to promote the industry to the general public and to provide support to companies and employees working in the industry. While some people may question the value of belonging to an association, after investigating the benefits of joining, most professionals do choose to become a member of at least one industry association. Here are just a few of the benefits you can receive by becoming a member of a financial industry association:
- The ability to keep up on the latest industry news, trends, announcements, and technology: In today’s fast-paced industry, it can be difficult to find the time to read various newspapers and trade journals to get the latest industry information. Associations usually provide publications and newsletters at no charge to members. These publications provide a great encapsulation of the news and information that’s of most interest to professionals.
- The ability to network and connect with other professionals: This can be a very important benefit of joining an association. Not only can you form relationships with other professionals who can help your career but with other professionals you can turn to when you have a question or concern.
- The ability to use their job boards and career services: First, most associations offer job boards for their members. Often, these job boards are only available to members, or the jobs are not posted elsewhere, meaning that you compete with fewer professionals. Also, some associations offer career services, such as résumé writing, assessment, or review.
- Association conferences and meetings can put you in front of potential clients. Many times, potential clients are invited to attend association conferences and meetings. Attending them, speaking at conferences, or otherwise marketing your company or services at a meeting can lead to you gaining new clients.
- Receive a directory listing. Most associations provide an online directory of their members. When a potential client is looking for a professional who is a member of this association, he or she can access your information through this directory.
Choosing the Right Association to Join
There are many financial industry associations. It won’t make sense for you to join them all. Plus, becoming a member can be costly. Some membership fees are $500 or more. That’s not the kind of money you want to spend on a membership that will not benefit you. So, how can you choose the right associations to join? There are a few primary ways.
- First, talk to other financial professionals. Find out which associations the most well-respected professionals in your industry sector typically choose to join. If you can’t join all of them right away, ask the professionals to recommend one that is essential for your future career success. Then, you can join one or two other associations as you’re able if they are also recommended. Second, look at your industry sector. It won’t make sense for you to become a member of the association for financial planners if you’re not a financial planner and don’t plan to become one. You should also look at the certifications or licensing that are required for your career, and if an association offers them, consider joining them. Chances are, the association will also represent your industry in Washington, DC, and support your industry or career in other important ways.
- Finally, look at the websites for the associations that you’re thinking of joining. Each one will list the benefits you’ll receive as a member. Compare these benefits and figure out which association will provide you with the most benefits you can use. You should also look at the directory of members. Look for the names of people or companies that you respect. The association that lists the largest number of these contacts as well as the most meaningful benefits is the right one for you to join.
As a financial professional, you are familiar with the fast pace of the financial careers and how they are continually changing. Whether it’s new laws, policies, regulations, tax laws, or industry restructuring, there are many changes that can impact how you do your job. For this reason alone, it’s important to read finance industry journals. They can help you keep up with the latest industry trends and changes. Here is a listing of the most prominent journals in the finance industry and the benefits each one can give their readers.
- Journal of Financial Economics: This journal is published through Rochester University and is a compilation of academic studies and papers written by economic graduate students, professors at universities, and other scholars. Readers of this journal will benefit from reading about the latest research and outcomes of financial economics studies being conducted.
- The Journal of Finance: Published by the American Finance Association, this journal publishes the latest research and studies by graduate students, professors at universities, and other scholars working in the field of finance. Readers of this journal can apply these studies to their own work, or it could help them relate to or understand changes or trends in the industry.
- Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis (JFQA): This journal is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December by the Michael G. Foster School of Business at the University of Washington in cooperation with the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business and New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business. The JFQA publishes theoretical and empirical research in financial economics. Topics include corporate finance, investments, capital and security markets, and quantitative methods of particular relevance to financial researchers.
- Journal of International Money and Finance: This is a scholarly journal devoted to theoretical and empirical research in the fields of international monetary economics, international finance, and the rapidly developing overlap area between the two. Researchers in these areas and financial market professionals read this journal to stay connected with the research community and its potential impacts on the industry.
- Journal of Portfolio Management: This journal gives the institutional investing community, academics, and regulators an opportunity to read lively and groundbreaking articles about managing portfolios, market behavior, security analysis, and applications of the new theories of finance.
- Financial Analysts Journal(FAJ): This journal advances the knowledge and understanding of the practice of investment management through the publication of high-quality, practitioner-relevant research. The FAJ seeks to serve as a bridge between academic research and practice by seeking academically rigorous papers that have direct relevance to practitioners. It provides a forum for presenting practitioner research and for the perspectives of leading practitioners, academics, and regulators about the finance industry.
- Journal of Business Finance & Accounting (JBFA): This journal publishes high-quality research papers in accounting and finance. The scope of the JBFA covers theoretical and empirical analysis relating to financial reporting, asset pricing, financial markets and institutions, market microstructure, corporate finance, corporate governance, and the economics of internal organization and management control. JBFA also sponsors an annual capital markets conference, with conference papers being published in a special issue each year.
- Journal of Accounting Research (JAR): JAR publishes original research using analytical, empirical, experimental, and field study methods in accounting research and other topics relevant to accounting jobs. The journal has been published by the Accounting Research Center (ARC) at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business since 1963. JAR publishes five issues per year (March, May, June, September, and December). The May issue publishes papers presented at the previous year’s annual research conference.