Reader question: How can I become a freelance financial writer?

Aspiring freelance financial writers seeking advice contact me occasionally. If you’re one of them, here’s some advice.

“Freelance financial writer” is made up of three words, each of which contains clues to the freelance financial writer’s success. I discuss them below in order of importance.

“Writer”: Polish your wordsmithing

Do whatever you can to improve your writing, including

“Financial”: Learn about the business

I took many great classes through the Boston Security Analysts Society on my way to earning my CFA (chartered financial analyst) credential. Your local society of the CFA Institute, other professional societies, or colleges may offer relevant classes in person or online.

Industry experience helps, too. I took my first job in financial services back in the 1980s.

“Freelance”: Learn how to survive

You may be a great writer with a strong command of finance. But if you can’t run a business, you’re lost.

Here are some online resources for learning more about freelancing:

“Freelance financial writing”

Here are some relevant posts from my blog. While they’re aimed at CFA charterholders, they’re relevant to others who understand investments.

If you have more suggestions for aspiring writers, please leave a comment.

If you’re in New York City, you can pick up more writing tips from me at my New York Society of Security Analysts presentation on “How to Write Investment Commentary People Will Read” or the  annual writers conference of the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

7 replies
  1. Susan Weiner CFA
    Susan Weiner CFA says:

    An aspiring freelancer recently asked me how to pick topics to write about, so he would have writing samples to show prospective clients.

    If you’re passionate about investments, but lack a client, I suggest you start a blog and write about whatever strikes your fancy in a given week. Writing regularly will hone your writing skills. Plus, blogging will make it easier for potential clients to find you when they search online. Another benefit is that you can use your blog posts in your LinkedIn status updates.

  2. Marvin
    Marvin says:

    With your help, I recently managed to get my first job as an articlewriter (well as you might assume from reading this post not in english…) and I hope this will bring me some bucks in the future.
    I’m also happy that you shared some usefull links with us instead of letting us google for endless times 😀

  3. Anshu Anand
    Anshu Anand says:

    Want to work as a freelancer in finance industry and earn some money. I’m a post graduate student… Please advise how can i start my freelancer writing career in finance industry so that i can earn some money…thanks…!!!!

  4. Susan Weiner, CFA
    Susan Weiner, CFA says:


    Check out the links above for more information on the part of finding work that you find most challenging. I’m guessing that my links under “Freelance: Learn how to survive” will be most relevant.

    Good luck!

  5. Maumita Mitra
    Maumita Mitra says:

    Hi, I am also a CFA candidate and interested in making my career in financial writing. I am a freelance content writer for past 1.5 years but not much experienced in financial writing. Please guide me on how to start writing on finance and investments, where can i get clients from etc. I read this post and found really interesting but if you can guide a little more on where to get clients from and how to start writing and what skills I need to have. Moreover I have interest in Financial research and modelling too, but due to certain issues I need to freelance and work from home. So, I will be grateful if you can guide me a little. Thanks Maumita.

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