Financial markets are the processes that facilitate the transfer of financial resources between firms, individuals, organizations and countries. Financial markets help to manage and influence the financing of different kinds of activities. Financial markets include financial institutions such as banks and other types of financial organizations such as hedge funds, investment companies, venture capitalists and securities firms. Other financial market concepts include credit, interest rates, mortgage loans, forward contracts, commodity markets, exchange rates, insurance and swaps, financial securities, government bonds, market volatility, central banking, international trade, commodity markets, and credit risk.
Finance is a broad term which not only covers various activities related to bank lending, borrowing, GICs, commercial real estate and the international financial system, but also includes various other subtopics. Some of the more popular sectors in the financial world are banking, insurance, health care, information technology, energy, manufacturing, merchant banking, bond market, securities market, exchange market, and commercial real estate finance. The three main financial markets include publicly traded corporations (OTC), individual stocks and bonds, and derivatives such as interest rate swaps, foreign exchange currency, bond coupons and mortgage guarantees. Private sector finance includes venture capital, private loans, mortgage banking, and retail merchant finance. Public sector finance refers to the activities of government-national banks, savings and loans, public financial institutions, pension funds and managed mutual funds.
There are two major international financial services sectors. The first one is over the short term cash management and capital budgeting. This sector tracks and regulates short-term cash flows, which are crucial for businesses planning short and long term strategies. The second is in the area of long term financing and monetary policy. This is related to long term economic growth and stabilization.
Banks can be categorized as either direct or indirect financial institutions. The main function of a bank is to lend money. Direct financing is carried on by borrowing money from other sources and returning it to the lender as repayments. Indirect financing is carried on by borrowing from a third party and passing the risk of the loan to a third party, usually a bank, institution or even a group of investors.
The financial advisors deal with financial products that are designed to benefit the investors and provide investment advice. Financial advisors design financial products that will increase wealth, protect wealth, or provide some other benefit to the investor. These products are designed with the intention of increasing overall wealth, inflation protection, reducing taxes, maximizing return, etc. Financial advisors can also help people manage their retirement savings plan.
All of these financial services are available to anyone with access to the internet. Online financial services websites offer a wealth of information about different aspects of investing and savings accounts. Some sites provide unbiased reviews and rankings of different investment options and financial advisors. They also allow the users to compare many different investments and financial services.