What Are the Different Types of Financial Analysis and What Are They Used For?


Financial analysis is a process of evaluating businesses, projects, budgets and other finance-related transactions to make informed decisions. It typically involves breaking down a business, project or budget into its basic elements in order to gain an understanding of its potential profitability or lack thereof. It can also involve comparing the results of financial analysis against industry standards and sector-specific metrics.

Financial analysis is an incredibly important tool for business managers and investors to assess the strengths and weakness of a particular business, project or budget and to obtain a deeper understanding of the viability of a potential investment. When used correctly, it can significantly reduce risk and increase the odds of making a sound financial decision.

Why Financial Analysis Is Important

Financial analysis helps investors and business managers make informed decisions about where, and how, to invest their money and resources. Without the insight gained from a thorough financial analysis, investors and business managers may be making decisions blindly and, consequently, may lose money or miss out on profitable opportunities.

At a minimum, financial analysis enables investors and business managers to assess the potential profitability of an investment before they risk their money. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of a particular business, project or budget, investors and business managers can tailor their strategies to maximize potential returns.

Overview of Different Types of Financial Analysis

Financial analysis is the practice of interpreting an organization's financial information to make informed business decisions. Determining the health of any business, including stock performance, involves several types of financial analysis. Technology and new analytics tools have provided data-driven decision-making support for finance professionals. Here are some of the types of financial analysis commonly used:

Fundamental Analysis

Fundamental analysis is assessing a company’s financial performance by looking at balance sheets, cash flow statements, and other economic indicators. Fundamental analysis is used to evaluate a company's long-term performance in the hope that it will help investors better determine the value of the company and its stock. This analysis can give investors a better understanding of the company's current financial state and its future prospects.

Technical Analysis

Technical analysis is used to identify trends in securities prices, trading volume, and other market data in an effort to predict future price movements. This type of analysis uses charts and graphs to look for patterns and trends, such as gaps and convergences. Technical analysis is used by those looking for short-term trading opportunities, as well as those investing for the long term.

Ratio Analysis

Ratio analysis is used to identify trends in ratios of different financial metrics over time. This type of analysis involves comparing a company's financial data to that of other firms in the same industry, as well as industry averages and benchmarks. This type of analysis helps investors assess the financial health of the company, and can give an indication of where the stock price may be headed.

Momentum Analysis

Momentum analysis is a form of technical analysis that focuses on identifying trends in securities prices. This type of analysis looks at the rate of change in a security’s price over time, as well as any sudden and unexpected changes. Momentum analysis attempts to identify stocks that are trending upward or downward, and investors can use this information to help decide when to buy, sell, or hold a particular stock.

3. Fundamental Analysis

Fundamental analysis is a type of financial analysis that uses information on the financial performance, macroeconomic indicators, and industry developments to evaluate the intrinsic value of a security. It involves analyzing a company’s financial statements, income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement, as well as events such as earnings announcements, mergers, and acquisitions that can affect the financial performance of a company.

a. Overview

Essentially, fundamental analysis combines a company’s financial data with analysis of the macroeconomic environment to provide a true picture of how a company is performing and how it could potentially perform in the future. Fundamental analysis helps investors form an opinion on a company’s intrinsic value and economic stability, and can help them decide whether to buy or sell a particular stock.

b. How it is Used

Fundamental analysis is typically used by investors to:

  • Assess a firm’s financial health and stability.
  • Gauge the intrinsic value of a security.
  • Determine which investments to buy or sell.
  • Make short-term or long-term trading decisions.
  • Forecast a company’s future financial performance.

Technical Analysis

Technical analysis is a type of financial analysis focused on analyzing market data to identify patterns and trends indicating a potential change in buying or selling pressure of a security. This form of analysis is widely used in financial markets to determine the best times to enter or exit a trade. Technical analysis is sometimes referred to as charting, as the analyst will commonly analyse charts and trends created from market data.


Technical analysis involves using past price and volume data to identify patterns and trends that can be used to predict future movements. These patterns and trends are used to create charts and technical indicators, such as moving averages and oscillators. Technical analysis is a form of quantitative analysis, as it relies on mathematical calculations and algorithms to uncover trends and patterns.

How it is Used

Technical analysis is used by traders to help identify potential entry and exit points for securities, as well as potential areas of support and resistance. Technical analysis is not always accurate, as it does not take into account any fundamental data or events, but it can be useful for short-term traders and investors looking to time their entry and exit points. Technical analysis can also be used to identify long-term trends in markets and securities, allowing investors and traders to take advantage of potential buying and selling opportunities.

Technical analysis is often used to confirm signals generated by fundamental analysis, providing traders and investors with additional confidence before entering or exiting a position. Technical analysis can also be used in conjunction with other types of analysis, such as sentiment analysis, to help identify potential market opportunities.

Ratio Analysis

Ratio analysis is a financial analysis technique that is used to compare and analyze different aspects of a company’s performance, such as expenses, efficiencies, profits, liquidity, and debt. By looking at a company’s financial ratios over time, analysts can better understand the company’s performance and identify potential issues.


Ratio analysis involves comparing different key financial indicators on a company’s financial statements, such as the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. These ratios provide a good indication of the company’s short-term and long-term financial health. Ratios include liquidity, solvency, profitability, and activity ratios, as well as ratios related to the value of the company’s stock. Ratios can also be used to compare a company’s financial performance with that of its competitors.

How it is Used

Ratio analysis is an important tool for investors and analysts, who can use the information to evaluate a company’s performance and make decisions about investing in or lending to the company. It is also a useful tool for managers, who can use ratio analysis to assess the efficiency of their operations and identify areas for improvement. The following are some common uses for ratio analysis:

  • Assessing potential investments or businesses.
  • Identifying potential areas of improvement.
  • Comparing a company’s performance to that of its competitors.
  • Analyzing the financial health of a company.
  • Evaluating trends in a company’s performance over time.

Momentum Analysis

Momentum analysis is an assessment tool used to measure the rate and magnitude of the price changes of a financial instrument over a period of time. This analysis is used to gauge the strength or weaknees of a security over a defined period, with the goal of predicting potential future price movements.


Momentum analysis helps investors determine whether a security is overbought, oversold, or is in a trend. It looks for patterns within price changes and can be used to help make decisions such as purchase or sale of a security, or whether to hold onto an existing position. It is also used by traders to identify short-term trading opportunities.

How it is Used

Momentum analysis is widely used to help make decisions about investing. It can be used to identify long-term investing opportunities by looking for large trends, or to identify short-term trading opportunities by seeking out smaller patterns. Some traders may use total return as a momentum indicator, as it takes into account both the volatility and the performance of a security.

In addition, momentum analysis can be used as a way to diversify portfolios. By using momentum analysis, investors can make informed decisions about which stocks or securities to invest in, as well as when to invest or divest from a given security. It also helps investors to identify potential opportunities and to avoid over-concentrating investments in a certain sector or asset.


Financial analysis is an important tool used in the decision-making process for company investments, financing and management activities. After having explored different types of financial analysis, it is clear that investors and managers need to understand the differences between them and when to use each type.

Summary of Different Types of Financial Analysis

Financial analysis is primarily categorized into four different types: ratio analysis, trend analysis, common size analysis, and second-level analysis. Ratio analysis looks at financial statements of the company to provide information to investors and creditors regarding profitability, liquidity, efficiency, debt leveraging, and other indicators. Trend analysis examines how certain financial metrics change over time in order to identify any potential trends. Common size analysis looks at both internal and external financial performance of the company against industry averages. Finally, second-level analysis looks at ratios with adjusted financial accounting numbers.

Importance of Knowing When to Use the Right Type of Analysis

It is important for investors and managers to understand the different types of financial analysis and when to use each one. Different types of analysis are used at different stages of the decision-making process and can provide a range of information from different perspectives. For example, ratio analysis can provide a comprehensive view on the financial health of the company, while common size analysis can help identify areas that need improvement within the company, such as expenses or liabilities. Knowing when to use the right type of analysis can help investors and managers make more informed decisions about the company.

Expert-built startup financial model templates

1000+ Excel financial model templates for your business plan

Leave a comment

Comments have to be approved before showing up