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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused two years of dramatic economic and social disruption that have presented unique challenges. Tough times need tough people so the world can emerge stronger. More so in the field of finance and investments, where there is much uncertainty and volatility. If you are a finance professional, such market volatility – be it stock prices, interest rates or even liquidity – can create a lot of pressure.

Warren Buffett famously said that “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked". There is a need for finance professionals with strong subject knowledge, a good grasp of current market realities and, above all, strong business ethics.

The pandemic has left plenty of investors feeling vertiginous, a fact reflected in a recent survey that showed an average 17% increase in the frequency of online searches of wealth management terms. So, how does one move with clarity towards their investment goals?

Today’s finance professionals need to understand what the ‘new normal’ could mean for investors. They should also be aware of the latest studies and industry trends, identifying red flags and effectively navigating them. What’s more, financial analysts and investors must grasp networking opportunities and seek advice from industry veterans. Asking for and receiving help is how we move past this crisis together. And that is precisely what membership of a global investment and finance society will help you achieve.

The industry gold standard is the CFA® charterholder community. CFA Institute, CFA Society India provide a comprehensive analysis of financial markets. The seminars and conferences organised by the society assist with the study of pertinent factors and new ideas. Even the pandemic hasn't deterred CFA Society India from hosting cutting-edge seminars, such as the upcoming 6th International Wealth Management Conference, with global industry leaders.

CFA Institute also offers its inputs into government-policy changes that may help reclaim the economy amid the crisis. A case in point here is the Systemic Risk Council, sponsored by CFA Institute, which assured us that the pandemic would not lead to an economic meltdown. CFA Institute has also appealed to the world's major economies to work together and avoid the same.

Receiving the best financial advice goes beyond simply building a nest egg. Take healthcare, for example. The price of medical advancements is overwhelming, as is the probability of failure. This is where financial analysts come into play, as they conduct cost-effectiveness studies to reassure potential investors’ about the likelihood of returns. The right financing helps fuel medical and healthcare innovations, which, in turn, boosts access to healthcare. Innovation also meets finance thanks to factors such as crowdfunding, mobile payments, artificial intelligence and machine learning, Robo-advisors, insuretech, blockchain, and cryptocurrency, which is collectively referred to as Fintech or Financial Technology. Research on these new-age tools is available through the CFA Institute continuing education program and various seminars that are conducted regularly.

Preparation is the key to investment success, and CFA Institute enables an investor to be better prepared with the accumulation of knowledge and networking with finance industry peers. However, unexpected events, such as steep falls in interest rates, swings in commodity prices, or euphoria over new assets such as bitcoins, invariably occur. So, it helps to reassess the decision to either stay the course or change tack. Various events and webinars on current topics – including the  1st India Alternative Investments Conference 2021 hosted by CFA Society India – provide an opportunity to hear from industry experts and interact with others with similar interests. These give you an edge to stay strong in a fluid environment.

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