Finance is a broad term encompassing many things about the study, production, and management of monies and other financial assets. In particular, it concerns the questions of why and how an individual, firm, or state acquires the funds required for its functioning and how that money is used or spent. The discipline is also concerned with figuring out what the individual or state owes another and the ability of that entity to repay those debts. Finally, the discipline covers issues such as taxation, which is about managing and redistributing income and wealth.

The study of finance is deeply rooted in the notions of property, capital, fiscal policy, banking, economics, and other topical areas of practical concern. All of these topics are deeply interrelated and it is not always easy to separate one area from another. That said, there are some general areas of financial services that can be considered the more basic areas of public finance. In addition to the broader topics mentioned above, there are several more that fall under the broader umbrella of public finance.

The first area of public finance that needs to be examined is the “activities of corporations.” These are the activities of the corporation as a whole or as a part of any particular venture, including the owners and operators of the corporations themselves. Public corporate finance revolves around the ways in which corporations use their financial assets, including their retained earnings, retained funds, and future capital investments. Public corporate finance can include a wide range of issues, such as managing money for the benefit of the owners, providing support for start-up ventures, providing debt finance for start-ups or other major purchases, providing support for major research and development projects, buying, leasing, and selling real estate, insuring businesses and protecting them against risk, providing small business advice, collecting and paying taxes, managing money for the community and other organizations, and more.

The second area of financial services is personal finance. This encompasses the financial systems of the individuals who manage their own finances, such as their own checking accounts, investments, retirement accounts, insurance, investments, and so on. The area of personal finance encompasses a very broad topic, which includes aspects of personal finance including managing money for home and other uses, investing for retirement, protecting wealth, paying bills, paying down debts, and so on. It is arguably the most important area of financial services, which includes aspects of corporate finance, real estate finance, entrepreneurship, human resources management, debt management, buying and selling stock, and more. All of these have a significant role to play in ensuring that individuals have access to enough money to meet their needs.

Finally, the area of finance also includes the decisions made by consumers regarding their financing. This includes credit decisions, which can include applying for loans and credit cards, buying homes and vehicles, buying educational materials and other goods and services, saving for emergencies, spending on leisure activities, and so on. While the field of finance itself has a wide variety of career opportunities and areas of specialization, the most popular areas of finance include insurance, investment, corporate finance, private equity, venture capital, estate and trust, banking, and more. In addition, it encompasses many sub-disciplines, including forensic accounting, management, transactional finance, banking tellers, mortgage banking, non-financial asset handling, risk management, portfolio management, venture capital, private lender financing, and more. There are also less common areas of finance, including municipal finance, public finance, corporate finance, philanthropy, public policy, and more.

Finance can be a rewarding career if you are good at making decisions, communicating with people, budgeting, analyzing trends, and so forth. It is an interesting field because it is a constantly changing area. In addition, you will find a large number of job opportunities available in this field. You can work for individual companies, work for the government and privately for nonprofit organizations, or work for finance consultancies, all while advancing your education and earning a lucrative salary in the process. With a strong finance background, you can really find a great career that suits your needs and interests.

By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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