How to Become a Stockbroker
Being a stockbroker is an exciting and rewarding career, but what does a career in this field look like, and how can you get started? In this article, we’ll break down how you can make a living as a stockbroker and the skills and qualifications you’ll need to make it happen.
What is a Stockbroker?
So what exactly would you find when looking at a stockbroker job description? A stockbroker works on behalf of a brokerage firm or can work independently. The job of a stockbroker is to manage investments at the request of a client.
Typically, they only follow the instructions of a client, but they can give specialised advice if the client is unsure of how to invest or how to make the best use of their investments. There are different types of stockbroker, but in general, they will always be trying to meet their client’s needs and conduct in-depth market research to bring in new business and offer the best financial services possible.
What is the Difference Between a Stockbroker and a Stocktrader?
The key difference between a stockbroker and stocktrader is that traders work on behalf of a portfolio manager and are looking for ways to extract the highest amount of value from trading lots of different securities in order to get results. Stockbrokers are focused on creating and setting up a portfolio or strategy to deliver specific goals that a client has asked for.
Taking online courses in trading can give you useful knowledge that can be applied in both roles. However, if you feel that a career as a trader might be more for you, using online resources to find out how to begin a career in trading or how to become a stockbroker can be a good next step.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Stockbroker?
Although there are no specific education requirements, most stockbrokers hold an undergraduate degree at a 2:1 classification or higher in disciplines such as investment banking, accounting, finance, or economics and will have usually completed relevant A-levels before that.
Upon completing your degree, it is encouraged that you enrol in a graduate training programme with a financial firm. A relevant master’s degree can also be helpful if you’re looking to start working in a firm or start looking for potential clients as an independent broker.
Experience in a similar career path in a financial field, such as an investment analyst, is another way of gaining entry to become a stockbroker.
Getting qualified through finance or trading courses can be a straightforward way to become a stockbroker, although you may need to pair this with a relevant degree or apprenticeship. This can give you the know how needed to break into an entry-level role or higher.
As a Beginner, Where Should I Start in Stockbroking?
After completing a bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline, such as business or finance, it is important to pursue work experience at a financial firm.
Many investment banks and brokerage firms advertise internships during the summer months, which can sometimes lead to permanent employment.
Internships are an excellent opportunity to receive intensive on-the-job training that will help you to stand out to future employers when applying for post-graduate employment.
Skill Set Required for a Stockbroker
Though many people think being good with numbers is the main factor in becoming a successful stockbroker, that is not the case. You’ll need to be good with more than just numbers and have a variety of skills to make it in this industry, for example:
Excellent communication skills
Attention to detail
Knowledge of the stock exchange
What Does a Stockbroker Do?
Stockbrokers are responsible for monitoring the stock market and financial markets and attempting to get the best financial returns by buying and selling stocks, shares and other financial products. It is a grueling job and requires long hours.
There are three main types of client base service that stockbrokers carry out:
How Much do Stockbrokers Earn?
The average Stockbroker salary in the UK can vary, as what you get paid depends on the size and scope of your brokerage firm or the clients you take on as an independent stockbroker.
According to the National Careers Service, a Stockbroker can earn between £24,000 and £125,000 a year. If you work abroad or for some of the largest firms in the world, your earnings could be even higher.
Typical Duties for a Stockbroker
Popular Career Pathways for Stockbrokers
As a stock broker you could work for an investment bank, financial investment and fund management firm or as a money adviser. Related career paths include working as a bank clerk or an internal auditor.