Stock Broker

Stock Brokers

Basic Information about Stock Brokers

Starting from the period that traders gathered beneath a buttonwood tree on Wall Street until the 1970s, stockbrokers were viewed as salespersons, who became rich just by recommending stocks as well as bonds to people that are wealthy.While a lot of brokers still do this till today, the role a stockbroker play has expanded and evolved drastically, over the past years.

These professionals, assist clients or companies and large organizations to manage their investments. They also help their clients to buy and sell stocks as well as shares, to give them the best return. Some stockbrokers, have the opportunity to completely manage the investments of their clients and can even make decisions on their behalf. Others can only act, based on the instruction of the client, as regards buying and selling of shares. Most of the trading that is being carried out by the stockbrokers, are done by telephone and through the internet.

The client’s investment portfolios are being constantly reviewed, to monitor its performance, and updates are also made available, to illustrate the findings. As a stockbroker, one of your responsibility, is to keep regular contact with your clients and make any suggestions that can help to improve performance.The stockbroker, works with a team comprising of other brokers as well as investment analysts. These investment analysts, conducts research to find out the performance of companies and the markets. After the research is concluded, the analyst generates a report, which the stockbroker uses to offer advice to their clients, as well as attract new ones.

A career as a stockbroker can be very exciting, stressful and also highly rewarding financially. For students to become a stockbroker, they would need to pass through some years of education and training. They will also need to obtain a degree in courses related to finance or business. Students that have interest of becoming a stock broker should have some special skills, interest and traits. They should be detailed oriented and also work well with numbers.Prospective individuals should also possess great people skills, as well as the ability to communicate information in a clear manner. Stock brokers should also have strong business acumen, management, IT skills and a competitive edge. Know about what Degree is required to become a Stock Broker here.

Job Description and working conditions

The services offered by stockbrokers, can be classified into three groups: execution-only; where the client provides instruction as regard buying and selling, which the stock brokers must follow; advisory; in this case, the stockbroker can assist clients to decide on which shares to sell or buy, but the client still has the financial decision to make and lastly, discretionary; where the broker is given complete control over the clients investment, after being briefed.

Stockbrokers generally manage the financial portfolios of clients, buy and sell securities, provide advice and risk management, based on analyst research conducted.They work in firms of brokers as well as investment banks. Stockbrokers function as middle men. They bring both buyers and sellers together in the stock market. The working environment of these professionals is somehow stressful, highly pressurized and competitive; the decision making part of the job, makes it unique and also carries lots of responsibility.

  • Working conditions

These professionals often spend most of their time in an office setting. Many stockbrokers may also travel to meet with their clients in other location or attend conferences.  They usually work long hours that falls without the period of the opening and closing of the stock exchange. Students aspiring to become a stoke broker, must learn how to sit or walk for longer hours.This is part of what you will experience while working in this profession.

Education, training and certification

For individuals who are looking forward to becoming stock brokers, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree has become mandatory. Gone are those days where one can practice without an advanced degree. Firms are now interested in candidates, who holds relevant degrees in Finance, Economics, Mathematics, Statistics, Accounting or others.

In earlier days, everyone including stockbrokers without degrees could conduct the business, in as much as the firm realizes its profits.Due to the mounting of pressure as well as different dynamics, companies have now realized that the best people to employ for the job are graduates; this is because they see them in a better position to manage their responsibility. Firms also hire graduates Masters in Business Administration (MBA) or those with Masters in Finance (M. Fin.).

Training Program for Stockbrokers

There are available schools for stock brokers. These schools are basically to sensitize students on the basics, relating to the field. They also ensure that your communications skills and other qualities, meets the required standards that employers need for a trainee. Entry level jobs for stockbrokers are available for both interns, graduates As well as MBA degree holders.Once you are hired by a firm, most of them will initiate a stockbroker training for you; this will enable you to secure your position fully, after passing the Series 7 examination. A lot of employees today in the field, started as juniors and assistants before they move up to senior positions.

For you to be fully recognized as a qualified and certified stockbroker, you must obtain a license. The test to obtain the license, does not necessarily carry any academic prerequisites. This is why individuals that does not have a college degree, can somehow, manage to become a stockbroker. In the United States of America for example, for you to be recognized by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), you must pass the mandatory series 7 and 63 examination.

Salary

The average salary of the stock broker in May 2012 was US$71,720 annually, or US$34.48 per hour. They earn a base salary but also get commission, which is directly related to how well they manage investments as well as the value of the funds they manage. Read here to know about stock broker salary.

Job Growth and Career outlook

Employment of stockbrokers is expected to grow at 11 percent, from now till year 2022. It is expected to grow faster than the average, obtained for other occupations. This employment growth, will be created by the high demand for investment banking advisory services as well as commodities trading.