A stockbroker is a financial professional who buys and sells securities for their clients with the aim of maximizing investment returns. These clients might be individuals, large corporations or institutional investors. The best stockbrokers are usually excellent sales people with a talent for working with people.
Stockbrokers have a wide variety of job responsibilities. For example, on any given day, you might be responsible for analyzing the markets, touching base with existing clients or selling yourself to new ones. The world of finance is fast-paced and quite competitive, but if you have what it takes you can make an excellent income.
Most brokerage firms want their brokers to hold a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, business or accounting. You certainly need to have an understanding of numbers and the financial markets. Some of the most prestigious firms might even require you to hold an M.B.A.
Stock Broker Training
After you have completed your degree, you’ll want to try to find an internship with a financial firm while you study for your licensing exams. These internships are highly competitive, even if the work is not altogether very glamorous. Even so, the opportunities here are substantial. Many interns build relationships with senior traders who act as mentors as they begin their career. In some cases, you may even be offered a position after you’ve completed your internship.
Once you’ve completed your internship you will want to begin studying for your certification. In order to obtain your certification, you’ll need to pass your Financial Services Authority (FSA) exams.
Your most difficult years as a stockbroker will come when you are first starting out in your career. In order to keep your job, you’ll need to work very hard to build a solid clientele. In fact, many brokerage firms will expect you to build a “book of business” that contains at least 100 to 200 clients within your first two years. This process usually leads to long hours and can be quite stressful in the beginning. However, if you are determined then you can reap huge financial rewards that will pay off well into the future.
Stockbroker jobs are very competitive. Financial firms are usually looking for brokers who have already established themselves in the industry, as opposed to taking on the risk of a newcomer. This is one reason why developing contacts within the industry is so important when you are first starting out.
Stockbroker jobs usually pay a modest salary of around £32,000 to £64,000 per year. If you do your job well then your bonuses and commissions can be many times greater than your base salary. The best stockbrokers can earn well over £1,000,000.
If you want to become a stockbroker, then you should start learning as much as you can about two different things: the financial markets and salesmanship. Each subject will be valuable in different ways once you start out in your career. For those individuals with a burning desire to succeed in the financial industry, the sky truly is the limit!
Broker fulfills two roles
A broker can be both a person and a company. A broker can, therefore, fulfill two different roles. A broker as a company is a member of the stock exchange and takes orders from both individuals and institutional investors. The broker acts as a ‘broker’ by bringing buyers and sellers together. These may be shares, bonds or derivatives such as options and sprinters. The broker earns on the commissions that are paid for these transactions. The broker, therefore, has no interest in the direction of the stock exchange and may therefore not act for his own account. There are various ways in which the broker can link buyers and sales orders to each other (brokerage). With most investment banks this happens electronically on an online platform. Larger transactions can also be communicated by telephone to the market makers.
Broker as a person
A broker as a person acts for the company’s own account. The company, usually a (business) bank, tries to make a profit on the financial markets with the use of capital. There are banks that, besides trading for their own account, are also brokers for individuals and institutional investors. These are called broker-dealers. Examples include Saxobank, RBS, and Ageas. These brokers have to comply with strict requirements because they can otherwise benefit from inside information by understanding the purchase or sales orders of their customers. The internal separation of these two activities works through Chinese Walls. Both departments must be kept strictly separate.
Broker for individuals
The market for brokers has changed considerably in the last ten years. This is partly due to the enormous rise of the internet. The Internet has made markets and exchanges more accessible to private investors. There are many different (online) investment banks from which consumers can choose. For example, there are professional brokers available for consumers such as Today’s Brokers and Interactive Brokers. These are mainly known for the extensive trading platform and the low transaction costs. On the other hand, you have to make more effort to get to know the platform and perhaps become discouraged. With some US brokers, deposits must be made through foreign accounts. They focus more on a user-friendly online trading platform. They are generally cheaper than traditional banks, but they can hardly compete with Lynx on, for example, transaction costs and options. In addition, it is important to look at the streaming costs. These are costs that you pay for the subscriber to watch the races ‘live’. Prices on the stock market can fluctuate strongly and therefore streaming prices are strongly recommended. However, if you want streaming prices from multiple exchanges, this can increase considerably.
Which broker suits me?
The Association of Securities Investors regularly conducts research into brokers and assesses these on a large number of points. It is smart to see what assessment this objective association gives. Should you consider investing yourself? Then carefully examine the advantages and disadvantages of the various providers. You can, of course, find the necessary information on websites of these brokers. Also, think in advance about what exactly you want. Do you want to invest actively or passively? Do you want to day trade or are you looking for a solid asset structure? It is also important to look at which instruments you want to get started with. Are these bonds, shares or is that currency trading also called Forex. These are important questions that you need to ask yourself to be able to come to an assessment.
The demands placed on brokers are becoming stricter. The financial world has become very sophisticated. This is one of the reasons why brokers often ask university-trained people who follow a training course internally. The salary of a broker differs greatly but is often made dependent on performance. A well-known broker, for example, is Optiver.