The investment banker career is an immensely rewarding, and invigorating career. At the same time, it involves arduous work, high pressure, and a huge responsibility. Investment bankers have to perform several intricate fiscal duties including mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, drafting business strategies, and overseeing client investments. A career in Investment banking is promising and has a bright future. If you want to learn about investment banking, these top investment banking courses for beginners will help you comprehend the domain within a short span.
What is Investment Banking?
In layman’s terms, an investment bank is a financial institution that provides other institutions or high-profile people looking to expand or improve their portfolios through investments in various financial assets. The clients of these investment banks are majorly Business firms, and Government organizations because they have to deal with huge transactions on a daily basis and need financial and advisory services, too.
That is where Investment bank plays their role by providing these organizations with world-class services in this domain. They use their expertise to structure contacts, raise capital, manage wealth and assets, launch IPOs, hedge strategies, etc. They also help new companies to go public and offer advice to their clients to help them solve their financial challenges.
Often, Investment banks act as intermediaries between security issuers and investors by helping the former finds the latter at reasonable prices. Their goal is to maximize their clients’ profits through the various services that they provide. Businesses can improve their operations and minimize risk exposure by taking help from Investment Banks and nearly all the big businesses do that.
Investment Banks too, make a lot of profit by entering partnerships with other organizations, or by offering their services. The concept of Investment banking came into light in the early 19th Century. This was the time when Industrialisation was booming and commercial banks used to provide financial services to various entities.
Its popularity took a leap during the American Civil War of 1861-65, which prompted Jay Cooke, a financier to open the first investment bank to provide financial assistance to US war efforts. With the help of that investment bank, the US Government issued bonds to interested investors which helped the government to raise funds for the war efforts and other obligations.
After the accomplishment of the projects, the investors received their returns in the form of a share of the profits earned.
This model of raising funds caught the world’s eye and investment banking evolved into what it is today. In modern times, investment bankers have become vital advisors to companies looking to make significant changes to their operations.
Commercial Banks vs Investment Banks
The fundamental difference between Commercial banks and Investment Banks lies in the type of customers they serve. Commercial banks provide services to small and medium-sized businesses and individual customers. It is done through various methods like receiving deposits, safeguarding assets, providing loans, etc.
Investment Banks, on the other hand, have their focus on catering to the needs of big corporations like Multi-National Corporations (also known as MNCs) and institutional investors. These banks receive deposits from their clients, secure assets, grant loans, and work with various entities ranging from private individuals to big companies.
On the opposite side, Investment Banks offer specialized services like issuing securities that are frequently used in stock market trading, providing funds for large-scale business projects, and offering asset management solutions to massive corporations and institutional investors.
Types of IB
The world of investment banking is essential for the growth and progress of economic markets around the globe. There are various types of investment banks in the world, often classified based on their size, scope, the type of clients they cater to, etc.
1. Bulge Bracket bank
Bulge bracket investments are among the most prestigious entities on Wall Street. They give attention to deals worth $1 billion or more and anything less than this amount is considered too small for these Bulge bracket investment banks. These ‘big banks’ operate on a global scale and offer an ample range of financial services, like sales and trading underwriting, wealth and asset management, merger and acquisition advice, and research.
The Bulge bracket investment banks are best suited for dealing with high-value transactions carried out by governments, financial institutions, high-profile clients, and multinational corporations.
2. Middle-Market bank
Mid-market investment banks are prominent financial organizations that provide services to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). They carry out deals sized between half a billion and one billion dollars. This type of investment bank offers expertise in areas such as debt restructuring, mergers, and acquisitions consulting, raising capital, etc.
Mid-market banks primarily operate at regional levels. They work closely with clients to develop structured solutions for their individual needs, unlike larger financial firms which focus on global operations. This type of banking is essential to boost the development and growth of small and medium-sized businesses in the world by providing them with the necessary resources to succeed.
3. Elite Boutique bank
Elite boutique investment banks are diminutive yet significant financial institutions. They specialize in a particular sector or industry of the market. Unlike other bulge bracket banks, they employ smaller teams and have fewer resources available to them. However, they know their clients on a more personal level and provide valuable advice with long-term objectives.
This deep insight into the market gives them an edge in competing against larger banks for deals. These banks offer financial and advisory services to their clientele to the best of their abilities and are notable components of the modern financial infrastructure.
With increased specialization in certain industries, Boutique investment banks are capable of providing a high level of knowledge to their customers. Their ability to maintain long-term relationships with these clients is what sets them apart as leaders in this field.
4. Regional Boutique bank
Regional boutique investment banks are knowledgeable financial organizations that provide specialized services and advice to clients in a particular geographical region. Typically, they specialize in deals up to $50 million. However, their value is more than just the capital they deal with.
These regional boutique banks have a noteworthy presence within local economies and are known for providing personalized services to companies of all sizes. Understanding the subtlety of each client’s needs, they offer various advice like Mergers and acquisitions advisory services, capital raising guidance, restructuring options, etc.
They can pinpoint critical objectives that support mid-sized businesses and assist them during each stage of their development. These small institutions are essential partners in stimulating economic growth in their local markets.
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Top 7 Investment Banking Courses for Beginners
Here is a top list of investment banking courses for beginners-
1. Financial & Valuation Modeling – WallStreetPrep
Duration of the course- 45h 60m
Course Provider- WallStreetPrep
About the Course-
The Financial & Valuation Modeling program is a comprehensive training program that prepares you for the investment banking world. These investment banking courses for beginners are used by many top-tier firms to train their professionals.
To get a better understanding of basic concepts of Investment Banking, you will receive 38 mini-courses in addition to this extensive program. If you want to make the best out of this course, you should have basic knowledge of accounting principles and how to use Excel.
These are the minimum requirements that you need to fulfill before joining the course. The knowledge and skills that you will gain from this program will give you a competitive edge in this field especially when you will apply for Investment Banking Jobs. Before enrolling in investment banking courses for beginners, make sure that you possess intermediate proficiency in accounting and Excel.
2. The Complete Investment Banking Course – Udemy
Duration of the course- 13.5 hours
Course Provider- Udemy
About the Course-
The Complete Investment Banking Course is one of the perfect investment banking courses for beginners, that is for those who are just starting out in this field and seeking to learn everything from the ground up. This investment banking course includes both theoretical elements of Investment Banking and its practical lessons.
After completing this course, you would have acquired a vast range of knowledge in this field that will help you when you will apply for or attend an investment banking interview. You will be able to build financial models and receive an in-depth understanding of all four major parts of investment banking.
Along with this, you will also obtain interview-clearing skills because it is important to have good communication skills along with knowledge and experience in this field. This Udemy course will give you a comprehensive understanding of Investment banking.
3. Investment Banking Divisions Explained – Skillshare
Duration of the course- 54m
Course Provider- Afzal Hussein (Skillshare)
About the Course-
The Investment Banking Divisions Explained course gives a comprehensive introduction to the various divisions in an investment bank. These investment banking courses for beginners will help you gain a better understanding of how each division in an investment bank operates. It will also give you the knowledge and confidence required to approach interviews confidently.
What can be expected from the Investment Banking Divisions Explained course?
In this investment banking course, you will learn about the theoretical concepts of investment banking as well as their practical application. This will give you the ability to decide which division best suits your interests and career goals.
In addition to this, you will gain an understanding of the basics of investment banking and how investment banks generally operate. And with that knowledge, you will be more prepared to express why you are interested in any division during an interview or meeting.
4. edX’s course for Investment Banking – edX
Duration of the course- 2 weeks (3-4 h per week)
Course Fee- Free of cost
Course Provider- edX
About the Course-
The Essential Career Skills for Investment Banking and Finance course is great for beginners. The tutors of this edX course have decades of experience and all the theoretical and practical know-how in this field. You will gain various insights into financial institutions. This will provide you with a deep understanding of the financial literacy that is important to become a successful investment banker.
5. Investment Management Specialization – Coursera
Duration of the course- 5 Months (approx.)
Course Provider- University of Geneva (Coursera)
About the Course-
Investment Management Specialization gives a detailed overview of the different investment strategies that are used by investors around the world. This one of the bes investment banking courses for beginners covers both practical and theoretical aspects of investment banking.
You will acquire the necessary skills to develop a plan for meeting long-term investor goals as well as build and manage clients’ investment portfolios.
You will begin by learning about the global markets. Then, you will learn how to create your own investment portfolio, considering past and probable future trends. In addition to this, these investment banking courses for beginners provide guidance on handling customer relations in an ethical manner and staying abreast of current industry practices.
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6. The Investment Banker – Financial Edge
Duration of the course- 44h
Course Provider- Financial Edge
About the Course-
You can gear up your resume and achieve a well-recognized Wall Street certificate with the help of the Investment Banker course. It is one of the most comprehensive online investment banking courses for beginners in which you will learn everything you need to know about investment banking – from the basics of accounting methodology to making a successful deal.
In addition to the knowledge, you will gain from these investment banking courses for beginners about investment banking, you should also acquire more skills to enhance your career as an investment banker. You will learn some of them in this course, the rest you will have to gain independently.
7. Introduction to Valuation and Investing – Khan Academy
Duration of the course- 3h
Course Provider- Alison (Khan Academy)
About the Course-
Introduction to Valuation and Investing is an insightful online investment banking courses for beginners which is completely free of cost. This course introduces participants to the basics of valuation and investment. The course uses notable examples and methodologies to ensure all topics are understood easily; benefiting those wishing to build their understanding of this field.
With its easy-to-follow structure, this investment banking courses for beginners hopes to give you a better insight into the financial world.
Qualities of an Investment Banker
- Financial Management
To become successful in the field of investment banking, it is essential for candidates to have strong financial skills along with a stronghold in subjects like Economics, Mathematics, and Accounting. To understand the complexities of finance, a mere understanding of banking operations is not sufficient.
Investment bankers must possess strong analytical skills along with the ability to grasp complex concepts that revolve around financial models and valuation. They should also have a curiosity that keeps them going when they confront new tasks and present innovative solutions. This helps them to meet their job requirements efficiently and paves the way for career advancement.
- Strong Analytical skills
Investment bankers are given the heavy responsibility of collecting, evaluating, and analyzing data so that they can make informed decisions. Moreover, they should be able to take large sets of data and draw meaningful insights from it. This requires good knowledge and experience in economics, finance, mathematics, and related fields. Investment banking is a competitive field so recruiters usually prefer candidates who demonstrate strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
- Good communication skills
Irrespective of the role, strong communication skills can be a great advantage to success in any career. Investment bankers have to put a fair share of their daily energies into communicating with clients and colleagues. They have to explain financial topics in a straightforward yet convincing way.
For the banker looking to make an impact in the industry, he should boost his communication and presentation skills. Along with this, it is essential to master the art of listening because good listening skills help a professional to better interpret messages and accurately anticipate the needs of clients or team members, thereby leading to better decisions and improved outcomes.
- Tough Mindset
There is no questioning the stressful nature of investment banking. Long hours, immediate deadlines, and major consequences make it a high-pressure industry. This propels the need to develop personal resilience for an investment banker to make it in the financial sector.
Working in finance can take its toll on the most seasoned professionals, so having the ability to quickly recover when times get tough could contribute to their longevity in this business. Personal resilience involves numerous different capabilities, such as being able to handle criticism, bouncing back from failures, and maintaining strong communication under pressure.
These capabilities are the important foundations of successful investment banking. Yet having these qualities is not sufficient in itself; you need to also develop ways to ensure that you stay healthy and motivated during your career. This could involve exploring stress management techniques, efficient time management habits, and cultivating relationships with your colleagues as support networks.
- Time Management
The job of an investment banker requires multitasking. He has to deal with multiple clients and tasks at once. So, it becomes essential for him to complete all the responsibilities without any delays. That is why it is important to have good time management skills or adopt project management tools that will enable an investment banker to properly organize his workload.
The clients of an investment banker trust him to handle their finances with confidentiality. His reputation can be affected greatly if he breaks the trust of even one client. He can also get into legal trouble if he mismanages the money of his clients since a huge amount of money is managed by these investment bankers. It can be a rewarding journey with the right knowledge and skills.
One needs sharp cognitive ability, excellent communication skills, and acute attention to detail to take care of his client’s interests and achieve success. It is also of utmost importance that an investment banker always acts with honesty and maintains up-to-date knowledge of the regulations of the marketplace.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s): Investment Banking Courses for Beginners
1. Is Investment banking a lucrative career option?
Yes, Investment banking is a lucrative career option as it is immensely rewarding and profitable. At the same time, this banking field is quite challenging and requires a lot of dedication, risk, and hard work. As these banking professionals help clients make more money, it is obvious that they too, earn a lot. In India, their average annual salary lies between 5-15 lakhs, while the experienced ones get over 20 Lakhs. The professionals that do their job well are also given bonuses from time to time.
2. Is the job of an investment banker stressful?
The job of an investment banker involves a lot of stress. These professionals have to work for long hours, sometimes as long as 18 hours a day. If your output lacks quality, working hard for long hours will only lead to disappointment. This is why, it is important that an investment banker finds a way to maintain composure and balance in stressful situations at work.
3. How long is an Investment Banker’s career?
It takes around three to six years to complete a degree in Investment Banking or specialization in a related field. One can opt for a Master in Business Administration (MBA) in finance or a related field that will open a plethora of golden opportunities in the field of Investment Banking. It is a time-consuming endeavor that requires discipline, dedication, and expertise across various fields.
Conclusion: Investment Banking Courses for Beginners
Investment bankers carry the responsibility of managing important financial tasks. The Investment banking career has a potential for growth. One can start his/her journey in investment banking by completing a course and being certified. If you feel interested and comfortable enough in this field, then you can go for a degree in the related field, preferably related to finance, get a job and gain some experience in this field, and then go for further studies.