A stockbroker is essentially an investment manager, and as such, to get into the profession, you’re going to require managerial skills. You’ll need to have a knack for numbers and an active interest in following the news. Pressure is par for the course in this line of work, and there are opportunities to work for multinational financial institutions, or you can take an educated risk and go into business for yourself. If you fancy your chances in the highly competitive graduate and corporate finance world, you’ll need to be a bit more than good with numbers to get into the job and stay in it.
Pressure to perform will always be there.
You’ll be working long hours, (7am – 6pm) and even when you’re not in the office, it’s likely that you’re going to have work on your mind.
The office environment will be stressful.
You’ll be working in an open office atmosphere, in front of your computer for most of the day, sifting through multiple investment portfolios, analysing data using computer programs, and taking decisive action on the precision investments you make on behalf of your clients.
Although, dependent on the type of stockbroker you work as, there will be different responsibilities you’ll have for the company you work for, and for your clients. Those are:
In this role, you’d be responsible for managing all your clients investment portfolio. Clients will place trust in your expertise, and leave it to your own discretion on the stocks you decide to trade their money with in order to make a (hopefully) sizeable return on their behalf. The firm you work with will have expectations and set targets for you to meet. The pressure will be on to make as much in the stock market with each investment in order for the company to increase their return, your client to get a sizeable ROI, and yourself a handsome performance bonus.
In this role, you wouldn’t be investing in any stocks, but instead you’d be an advisor to your clients, providing your expert opinion, and helping them to make a smart and informed decision on the stocks they’d like to trade. As an advisor only, you would not be responsible for the investment, or management, and you would only be providing advice for the client to act on if they agree.
As an execution only stockbroker, you would only act on the instructions of your clients. No advice would be given, and you would only initiate a stock buy or sale under your clients’ instruction. Of the three different types of roles you could be doing, you can find that with larger firms, you’ll have a number of clients, all of which could see you carry out all three roles.
In order to successfully invest in the financial market, you need to know what events can cause volatility and price movements. Every breaking news story is the potential to change trading market conditions. When the stock changes – money exchanges. Working for any finance firm, you’ll have investments to manage. To get started, you will need a high level of education, often to degree level. With the ever-increasing lucrative nature of the financial markets, investment firms are looking more towards recruiting trainees who hold a postgraduate degree.
Any degree can be used to enter the career, but it is preferred if to have a degree in finance, business, accountancy or economics. Only through experience and careful monitoring of how events pan out, will you start to become more aware of the impacts events have on stock prices.
It’s that understanding that helps you get a feel for how the markets are going to swing, and from that you can begin to make smart investment decisions through educated predictions.
Before you enter a rollercoaster career to become a stockbroker, the training is going to be critical. It’s not a career that anyone can jump into as you need to have excellent numeracy skills, with an analytical mind.
Those good with numbers and thrive at making them higher, will make successful stockbrokers. Numbers are the key to unlock your success.
The main route that will open the doors to your career in this field is by accessing formal graduate programmes with investment firms, already established in the field, and need those numerical, analytical, and interpretational skills that you’ll need to have.
The skills in only one of those components could be the fundamental thing that a company could be looking for, in the candidates being interviewed, before enrolment on their graduate programmes.
Degrees! That’s it, and if you’re surprised at that then the next part may spark even more enthusiasm into you to get started in this challenging and thriving profession. Your degree doesn’t even need to be in finance. Others include:
What’s even better is you don’t have to graduate at the top of your class. Graduating with a 2:1 degree in any subject gives employers the knowledge that you’re teachable and a solid understanding of what’s taught to you. That’s essential for further training.
It could be considered as your trainability factor. It also shows them that while trained to degree level, you understand the importance of furthering your education.
With that, you can then apply that specialist market knowledge to your stockbroker jobs, either assisting others with your data analysis skills, navigating the financial fields, seeking out the best investments the market has to offer, or even snatching up those ripe stocks for the company training you. Making them a significant return on their investment.
You cannot wing it into or through this career. It’s risky, challenging and more importantly… It’s regulated Whenever there are regulatory authorities involved, you have added responsibility and certain standards need to be achieved before you can be employed or work as stockbroker.
You can go on from the minimum requirements, to further study towards the following qualifications
The qualifications mentioned above are all designed to meet the FCA qualification requirements. The FCA is the Financial Conduct Authority, responsible to maintain the appropriate qualifications standard, necessary for regulating the financial industry, alongside the FSA.
A stockbroker career is risky, but with regulation governing the training you receive, before you apply that to financial markets…you can be sure that you’ll be trained to the highest of standards. That will increase your confidence on the job, while ensuring future employers, or clients if you go into business yourself, have the reassurance that you’re among the elite professionals in the financial world, ready to make the best trades, and broker the stocks with maximum returns.
Stockbrokers work on behalf of a client investing money in stocks, shares and other financial instruments to make the client a profit. The client may be an individual or and organisation.
The role of a stockbroker is arduous and the hours are long, however a stockbroker job can be very exciting and extremely financially rewarding. There are three key types of stockbroker jobs / services:
On some occasions a stockbroker may opt to work on their own behalf, surmising which stocks and shares will sell well. In this instance the stockbroker is classed as working as a principle and is often referred to as a trader as no actual brokerage is involved.
There are various routes to take to embark on a stockbroker jobs but the most common would involve completing and undergraduate degree and undertaking an FSA approved qualification whilst working as a trainee stockbroker in a firm or investment bank.
For the qualified individual, stockbroker jobs can involve working for a specialist stockbroker firm. For these individuals the focus is usually on becoming the best in their field and working towards hedge or fund manager.
There are also opportunities to work within investment banks with one of the coveted roles – one of the most prestigious and most lucrative being in investment management, where in some cases the salaries have been reported at well over £1 million per annum with healthy bonuses in excess of hundreds of thousands of pounds.
In the UK we have one of the highest ranked stock exchanges – based in London and established in 1801 the London Stock Exchange is highly regarded.
However there is the opportunity to find stockbroker jobs at alternative stock exchanges for example the number one ranked New York Stock Exchange, The Tokyo Stock Exchange or the Euronext in Paris.