The financial industry as we know it is rapidly changing, and the role of the traditional stockbroker is evolving alongside it.
The general lifestyle of a stockbroker appears to be both glamorous and wild in equal measure. Recent Hollywood blockbuster movies such as The Wolf of Wall Street have made the job appear to be risky but also lucrative.
However, fiction does not denote reality, and becoming a stockbroker can be a truly fulfilling career if you have the right mind for it.
To put things simply: understanding the role of a broker is a great way to evaluate whether the service provided is relevant to you, or whether the job aligns with your goals.
In this article, we’ll provide you with all the information you need about stockbrokers, including what they are, what they do, and the different types of brokers out there.
At their very core, a stockbroker is a licensed financial professional that handles all sorts of tricky transactions on behalf of all sorts of clients. This occurs either over the counter or through a stock exchange in return for a commission or a fee.
The aim is to buy and sell various financial instruments such as bonds, stocks, and derivatives that cannot be done directly in the stock exchange for both institutional and retail investors. brokers will then charge clients for using their services.
In the case of Forex trading, for example, you must choose the right forex broker to ensure that the job is done correctly. This is because it’s a pretty risky market (especially compared to stocks) because of how volatile the whole scene truly is.
Below, we have included the main types of brokers you need to know about.
- Discount Brokers: these brokers only follow up on orders from their clients. Unlike other types of brokers, they do not offer any research, analysis services, or advice for clients.
- Online Brokers: these individuals carry out plenty of research and also give investment charts, news, and various stocks for clients to consider.
- Full-Service Brokers: these provide a personalized service to all sorts of clients (in the form of investment information and research) and also pass on information that is only available to full-service clients.
Now we’ve reached the all-important question: what does a stockbroker do?
Well, as you may have gleaned from the above information, a stockbroker works directly with all sorts of clients to establish and manage their wealth portfolio and also develop new businesses. Stockbrokers act as an intermediary between clients and the stock exchange.
In simple terms, their primary job is to act as a broker for the successful sale of stocks and other investments. They then earn a commission from this work once they have been sold to investors.
Some of the most important duties and responsibilities of the job include:
- Staying up to date with the latest in tax and financial legislation.
- Assisting investors to maintain accounting records and completing financial transactions.
- Creating an investment strategy for a client after assessing their financial situation.
- Obtaining relevant information about market conditions, stocks, and securities for clients.
- Meeting with different prospects to work out specific goals or interests.
- Successfully executing purchase and sell orders for their clients.
The majority of entry-level broker positions require a bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance, or something related to economics.
This is because these degrees provide a base-level understanding of equity markets, something that is essential for all stockbrokers.
Some stockbroker roles will also require a candidate to have some experience with trading in a financial firm but this is not always a requirement. Internships or entry-level training positions are a brilliant way to gain practical experience and obtain a professional license.
Some of the most sought-after skills that a stockbroker must possess are:
- Can work well within a team
- Computer skills and experience with trading platforms
- Numeracy skills
- Possess well-developed analytical skills
- Can work well under pressure
- Thorough research skills
- Good interpersonal skills to form relationships with different clients
- A strong, determined entrepreneurial mindset
- Financial reporting and thorough analysis
Stockbrokers play a crucial role in many parts of the financial sector, to the point where the industry would crumble without the intervention and hard work of these individuals. Hopefully, after completing your read-through of this article, you now understand more about what a stockbroker is and what they do to help different clients.