In the financial services industry, one of the most coveted careers is that of a financial analyst. Across the globe, financial analysts are one of the high paid professionals.Financial Analysts monitor and interpret available data such as industry and economic trends, forecast the current trends and then determine a fair market value of an asset of a company. They make recommendations based on this analysis. They also manage portfolio worth millions of dollars. Mostly, Financial Analyst occupy senior positions in investment management companies, private equity, hedge funds etc. Financial analysts play a number of different roles like Equity analyst, Credit Analyst, Portfolio Managers, Investment Advisors, Investment bankers etc.
To get into such coveted roles, require advance knowledge of finance and investment management, sharpening of analytical skills and learning essential tools and techniques to dig deeper into the numbers.
Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Analysis course provided by International College of Financial Planning is a culmination of industry experts in the field of investment banking, private equity, hedge funds, portfolio managers and seasoned academicians who are well aware of the prerequisites to give a jumpstart to your career in financial analysis. The PGDFA course combines unique blend of course delivery by faculties and working on financial projects like financial models, M&A models which prepare students well in advance for all the future challenges.
1. Equity Research: They are think tanks of capital markets. Their task is to analyze future prospects of businesses on the basis of financial & economic factors. They hunt for undervalued stocks where share prices are lower than true economic worth of the company. They generally have specialization in a particular sector of economy and track all news and policy changes related to it. They need to have sound understanding of various valuation models, financial statement analysis and above all the analytical skills. Successful research analysts can see through thick layers of businesses, quantify their thoughts and take a decision that is different and accurate at the same time. Research analysts publish their thoughts through research reports in media or to specific group of investors.
2. Credit Research: Phases of financial meltdown in history has proved the importance of credit analysis function in financial institutions and rating agencies. Credit analysts perform tasks similar to that of an equity research analyst except that the end decision is to invest in the debt of a company. They try to ascertain credibility and capacity of the borrower in paying back interest and principal to lenders where borrowers can be Countries as well as Companies. They are interested in knowing strength of business, its financials, management quality etc.
3. Portfolio Management: Portfolio managers guide institutional as well as private clients how they should allocate money into different asset classes. It’s a complicated area and requires sound understanding of portfolio theories, quantitative techniques and risk minimizing techniques. They should also possess good interpersonal skills as they directly consult human beings. There may be 2 variations in this kind of a role:
4. Derivatives Strategy: Derivatives are the greatest and most debated innovation in financial markets in recent decades. Derivatives hold a prominent position in areas of trading, business risk management and portfolio management. Complex financial derivatives exist in almost all areas ranging from stock, debt, interest rates, commodities and currency to even monsoon and cyclones. Derivate specialists design optimum trading or risk management strategies and it requires deep knowledge about their valuation and features.
1. Professional Ethics & Corporate Governance: In today’s dynamic finance world, professional ethics are a prerequisite for finance professionals. This subject lists down the code of ethics laid down by the Association of Investment Management & Research (AIMR) and explain the importance of ethical practices.
2. Security Analysis-1: This topic forms the core of investment research. This topic gives an overview of equity markets, indexes, and kind of equity instruments available in the market. This subject further delves into understanding of industry, sectors, and different stages of company growth which are foundation for equity research. Finally it talks about different kinds of valuation techniques like DCF, DDM.
3. Financial Reporting & Analysis-1: Financial Statements are the focal point of investment research. It starts with basic principles and different kinds of financial reporting. It also explains components of financial statements – Balance sheet, Income statement (P&L) and Cash Flows statements. Later part of the curriculum delves into inventory valuation, ratio analysis and how to detect loopholes in financial statements.
4. Corporate Finance -1: The topic covers the principles that corporations use to make their investing and financing decisions. Initial part covers techniques of capital budgeting, measuring cost of capital & leverage. Later part covers management of working capital and dividend policies of a company.
5. Portfolio Management & Quantitative Techniques-1: This part is divided into two parts:
6. Advanced Economics: This topic covers in depth study of micro & macroeconomic school of thoughts. With perspective to finance, topic covers demand-supply equilibrium, firm output decisions & costs under micro economics. The macroeconomics part explains different market structures under which firms operate and goes on to explain how at macro level GDP is determined due to aggregate demand and supply interaction, how business cycles originate and finally impact of monetary & fiscal policies on economy.
1. Security Analysis-2: This topic is advanced extension of security analysis studied in previous semester, again is divided in four parts:
2. Economics for Valuation: This topic focuses on linking thus far learnt economics concepts with valuation of securities by explaining the impact of macroeconomic environment on firm’s profitability. Focus of this topic is on Growth theories, exchange rate theories & Concepts and measures of economic growth.
3. Financial Reporting & Analysis-2: In this advanced version some key issues that affect company valuations are covered in details. It covers analysis of M&A Accounting, Post-Employment and Share-Based compensation, Multinational Operations and how different accounting policies may affect analytical interpretation and how to troubleshoot it. In the end you study advanced techniques of ratio analysis & determining quality of earnings.
4. Corporate Finance-2: Topic covers advanced discussion on capital budgeting principles, dividend policy, capital structure policy, corporate governance and M&A strategies.
5. Portfolio Management & Quantitative Techniques-2: This reading has 2 parts:
6. Professional Ethics -2: Except some new ethical principles, topic repeats most part of ethical standards read in sem 1, it shows great amount of importance given to this topic
The duration of the course is 10+2 months in full time mode, which includes an internship of 2 months in a financial sector company.
Eligibility & Admission Process
Admission Procedure: Our PG programs are targeted towards individuals with high potential for success in the financial services sector. Selection at ICoFP is therefore very rigorous & competitive.
1. Application :
ICoFP Prospectus and Application Form and can be acquired by one time payment of Rs. 1000/- for one program.
2. Admission Test:
Candidates are required to appear for “AMCAT (The AMCAT is a computer adaptive test which measures critical areas like communication skills, logical reasoning, quantitative skills, thus helping us to identify the suitability of a candidate.)” conducted by International College of Financial Planning. The candidate has to undergo a rigorous selection procedure comprising of Written Test, Group Discussion & Personal Interview. All candidates who have appeared for CAT/ MAT can also apply to ICoFP with their score. Short listed candidates will have to appear only for GD & PI. Group Discussion and personal interview are also integral components of the admissions process. The overall objective is to identify and assess the candidate’s communication ability, in addition to the overall knowledge of the student. IIMs have no role either in the selection process or in the conduct of the program.
3. Admission Offer:
Final selection will be based on a careful evaluation of the applicant’s academic record from class X, through graduation and/or post graduate qualification, work experience (if any), extra curricular activities, Group Discussion and personal Interview. Successful candidates will be informed of their final selection by courier/ phone call. The selected candidates must pay their first fee installment within two weeks of receiving the admission offer, failing which the offer will be withdrawn.
Q1. What is the difference between general MBA vs PGDFA?
Ans: It is all a matter of Specialisation. While a general MBA will give you knowledge about different facets of management, PGDFA will provide you with specialised knowledge about FINANCIAL ANALYSIS.
Q2.What portion of the CFA curriculum is covered in the PGDFA?
Ans: PGDFA covers 100% of the course curriculum of level 1 and Level 2 of CFA® program by CFA Institute.
Q3. How is MBA FA different than PGDFA?
Ans: There are few differences:
Q4. What are the employment opportunities after PGDFA?
Ans: Refer career opportunity section. https://www.icofp.org/mba-in-financial-analysis/career-opportunities.php
Q5. Financial Analysis is the most happening job for fresher. Is this true?
Ans: 20 years ago, India was a favorite destination for accounting related jobs. The number of jobs is still the same; the nature has changed in the last 5 years. There are many jobs but for data analyst. Financial Analyst is one of those and certainly one of the most happening for freshers.
Q6. What are the chances of getting a job abroad after PGDFA?
Ans: PGDFA gives knowledge enough to clear first two levels for CFA®. Once CFA® is done, the international acceptability of the candidate increases manifold into global financial markets like New York, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc.
Q7. Will Financial Modelling be a part of the curriculum?
Ans: No. Financial Modelling is taught in detail in the 3rd Semester of MBA FA but not in PGDFA.
Q8. Will a student get an placement opportunity from the placement cell of college?
Ans: Yes. ICOFP has a placement cell which provides assistance in final placements.
Q9. Does a student get any exemption from CFA institute’s CFA exams because of its candidature in MBA (FA)?
Ans: PGDFA is affiliated to Mysore University capsulating the curriculum of CFA® Program USA. A student will have to clear CFA exams (all 3 levels) by registering oneself in the CFA® Program.