Many Chartered Accountants and kids who have done MBA with specialisation in finance believe that they need only number crunching skills. Number crunching skills are necessary and impossible to live without, but they also need some other skills:

1. Improve your general knowledge: Life is far more than just finance. You need to understand some amount of psychology and philosophy. Psychology tells you how a person behaves and philosophy tells you how groups behave. A little bit of history and mathematics can also be useful. History, Geography, Future technology, Future trends, etc. are nice to know.

2. Develop your communication skills: Ability to listen is just as important as the ability to talk. So your ability to talk, listen, write, make a power-point presentation are all important. Nice courses are available at Dale Carnegie institute in Mumbai – and please include that. If you can improve your public speaking skills (or learn drama) that can also be very useful in communications.

3. Be sensitive to older customers: Many people above a particular age are actually scared of dealing with brash people who talk fast, talk softly and are in a hurry to take their cheque. Learn to deal with the older citizens – remember they have the money 🙂

4. Ability to read legal documents: The CAs we recruit are slightly better than the MBAs who come in! Learn to read notes on accounts, balance sheets, memorandum of association, offer documents, prospectus, and other legal documents. Do not hide saying “I am not a CA or I am not a lawyer” – investment banking is as much about agreements as it is about numbers.

5. Relationship Management Skills: There is no escaping learning interpersonal skills. Do not shrink your responsibility – all your business happens because you have good personal relationship. This is not rocket science – it can and must be learnt.

6. Basic /general knowledge of International Investing: You may not be an expert in international investing, however you should know enough about investing in other parts of the world. The client expects you to at least be able to carry on a conversation with them regarding international investing….

7. People Management skills: It is not easy to handle high strung people with impossible targets. Team work is spoken about, but targets are for the individual. This kills team spirit. So learn some basic HR…it helps.

8. Read, Read, Read: There is so much of financial, economic and legal literature created every day that unless you quickly find out what is important, what is vital and what is not important, you could be in bad shape.

9. Master technology: word, excel, power-point, cell phone, laptop – it is a given that you have to learn all these things…when new toys come learn to adapt and keep learning.

10. Understand all that you have read – you may need a ‘Guru’ who will help you along the learning journey…find him / her soon :).

of course there are many more…will keep adding please keep reading and if need be reminding about this.

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  1. surprising you left out basics of Arithmetic and Statistics. Shocking lack of knowledge of basic math and stats. Also practical usage of NPV, IRR, – even though u thought basic number crunching would include all this…

  2. Recently one RM bugged me to meet me inspite of my repeated requests to come out with concrete plan. Accepted to meet on fourth time request. Within few minutes of our meet, he calculated my savings per annum and came with retirement plan with equavalent premium. The plan gives me YoY returns of 2%. I had to write a complaint to remove him from the position. What shocked me is that he presumes client is a complete stupid to understand the figures. One point the article should cover is enrichment of knowledge to client. The more you do it as an education, he/she would rely on you & give business at later stage.

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