For many people, being able to work at home gives them the best of both worlds. They have the job security and income of a regular full-time job without the time, expense, and hassle of going to an office. The financial industry has seen an increasing number of jobs that allow for virtual work. These jobs range from full-time corporate positions to opportunities for entrepreneurs and independent contractors. Below, we provide a breakdown of four of the highest-paying virtual positions available in the financial sector.

1. Day Trader

A day trader holds positions in stocks for a very short period of time, often minutes to hours, and makes numerous trades each day. In most cases, all open trades are closed before the end of the day. While day trading does not offer a guaranteed salary or other benefits, it does provide those who are successful at it with potentially huge returns on capital. Some traders can post returns of 300% or more in a year while others see much lower returns. Being a successful day trader requires much more than lucky guesses; day trading requires specific skills and the use of sophisticated tools, available capital, and emotional stamina.

To be successful, day traders need the following:

  • A long-term trading strategy and access to up-to-the-minute market information including real-time quotes.
  • The ability to correctly interpret the short-term movements of the markets.
  • Continuous access to multiple live news sources, such as CNBC or CNN.
  • Analytical software, which allows day traders to discover trading patterns much faster and reduce trade execution times.

Key Takeaways

  • The ability to work from home can provide job security and income without the time and expense of commuting to an office.
  • Day trader, financial writer, and independent financial planner are all examples of roles that are increasingly being conducted remotely.
  • Employers are often reluctant to pay the high overheads required to house workers in an office environment, and many prefer a cheaper, work-at-home arrangement.

Traders must have the steeliness to weather heavy short-term losses, and they should have ample cash reserves. Some traders focus chiefly on trading equities while others speculate in derivatives or foreign currencies. While successful day traders can become quite wealthy, it is virtually impossible to quantify an average compensation because even the best traders will see substantial fluctuations in their respective returns from one year to the next. If you need a steady income, this is not the career for you.

2. Financial Writer

While a career as a financial writer is perhaps one of the least publicized in the industry, talented and experienced writers are constantly in demand. There has been an explosion of financial news, literature, and websites over the past two decades along with an increased demand for professional financial education and training.

This job is perhaps one of the easiest to do from home because written material is easily delivered electronically. There is rarely a shortage of work for a competent writer, particularly one who can produce good copy under a tight deadline. Good financial writers and editors can earn up to several hundred dollars per article, and some jobs pay salaries in the range of $70,000 to $90,000 per year.

Day trading is not for everyone. Day traders require an unwavering commitment to their strategies, ample cash reserves, and excellent financial acumen.

While a master's degree in management, finance, economics, or journalism may help you command higher pay, it is more important to have professional experience in the financial industry. Some writers have become successful by writing consistent professional-level copy on financial topics that are well-researched and financially sound.

3. Independent Financial Planner

Independent financial planners and advisors can base their offices out of their homes as long as their homes provide a professional backdrop for their practices. A client would expect a financial planner to live in a more affluent neighborhood with a dedicated area for the home business as opposed to a poorly maintained apartment in a neglected area of town. In addition, some business licenses will only allow one client to be at your home at one time.

Other issues to consider include parking, access for handicapped persons, and restrooms. Furthermore, a key factor in deciding whether to work from home as an independent financial planner is whether your family is willing to share their home with your business.

Advisors who choose a work-from-home arrangement can substantially reduce their overhead expenses and commuting costs. The compensation range for successful advisors who work at home will likely mirror the compensation received by advisors with similar practices who work anywhere else without the associated, and often high, overhead expenses.

$89,000

The median salary for a personal financial advisor in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

4. Corporate Financial Careers

This last category of work-at-home jobs encompasses several different service areas including financial analysts, certified public accountants, tax researchers, computer programmers, and many others. An increasing number of these jobs are outsourced to independent contractors.

Many computer-based jobs can now be done from anywhere, and employers may be reluctant to justify using expensive office space to house additional employees. In fact, existing employees are often allowed to work at home, at least part-time. Many corporate jobs now only require employees to come into the office once or twice a week, for meetings or presentations, and allow them to do their remaining work at home.

The Bottom Line

As with other sectors of the economy, the financial industry workforce has become increasingly mobile. An increasing number of employees are working remotely or from home, and this trend is likely to continue well into the future. Employees in the financial industry who are tired of the office routine now have several highly compensated home-based alternatives from which to choose.