Finance is a broad term for things about the science, development, and management of funds and assets. In particular, it concerns the questions of why and how an individual, institution or government obtains the funds necessary to conduct the business that requires them (called capital in the business context), and how they wisely use those funds. Finance is often referred to as the science of funds management. Banking, for example, is the science of obtaining loans, managing those loans, and making sure that the loans are repaid.

Finance is intimately connected with all the other subjects of economics. For example, one cannot talk simply about banking without also talking about the subject of savings and investments, real estate, investment, etc., and these things are intimately connected with each other and with economics itself. Thus, saving and investment, and the process by which they are conducted and managed, have a considerable effect on the macroeconomics of a country or region. This is especially true when it comes to retirement planning.

The discipline of economics can be subdivided into three main areas: micro, macro, and social. Micro economics concerns the flow of economic activity through a country or region, including the activities of individuals and institutions, businesses and government agencies, affecting the market. A microeconomist generally studies the details of a specific event, such as the opening of a new factory or store, or the introduction of a new transportation technology. macro economics considers the broadest economic concepts and issues, which can apply to a country or region and affect its economy in a global sense. A macroeconomist who is studying national budgeting, for example, will be interested in the choices made by government officials, the performance of banks and other financial institutions, and the overall economic situation.

All these disciplines have both theoretical and applied components. The study of microeconomics can, for example, give us insights into the behavior of consumers, companies, investors, and other individuals. The analysis of macroeconomics can provide information on the direction of the country and its economy. Modern financial theories, on the other hand, deal with the decision-making processes that people make in the market. These include the basic notions of supply and demand, the effect of inflation, interest rates, and decisions made by financial institutions.

Finance is one of the most important categories of study in the field of business administration. Finance graduates usually begin their careers as financial analysts. The job of a financial analyst is to apply the principles of economics, along with other knowledge, to decide how to maximize profits for a company, and minimize losses in terms of investing for the long-term.

There are many options for finance degrees. Many programs at business universities and colleges now offer major degrees in finance. Students may choose to specialize in a particular area of finance such as investment banking, asset management, credit card banking, or investment management. Other areas of finance offer minors or concentration degrees. The coursework for each of these programs varies by program.

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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