Stockbrokers buy and sell securities (eg stocks and shares) on a commission basis on behalf of private and commercial clients.
They support individuals or institutions (clients) to make informed decisions on investing in the right stocks and markets at the right time.
In all cases, you will deal directly with your clients and manage their wealth portfolios. Stockbrokers are expected to manage existing clients and develop new business.
Types of stockbrokers
- Full service broker – you will provide a personal service to your clients and pass on important information that won’t be available to those without the full brokerage service. Usually you will receive commission if the client invests in the stocks your firm specializes in. You will deliver personalized research and recommendations on investments.
- Discount broker – involves creating a list of recommended stocks that you send to your clients, without backing this up by your research.
- Online broker – you will support your clients in carrying out their own research by providing them with charts, investment news and a selection of stocks for them to consider. Contact with clients is not personal and they generally have a good knowledge of the stock market.
- keep up to date with the latest financial and tax legislation;
- stay informed of the latest financial news to understand the movements in the market and the drivers of change;
- carry out specific market research and analysis;
- write reports and newsletters summarizing the market research you’ve done;
- proactively look for clients, sell your services and manage those relationships (in the business this is referred to as ‘client service and recruitment’). You’ll do this through a combination of networking and cold calling;
- regularly update your clients on the state of their portfolio and new investment opportunities;
- give presentations to clients at conferences and networking events;
- ensure that you understand your clients’ needs enabling you to make appropriate suggestions for their investments;
- be honest and provide all information, including risks. As a broker you cannot exaggerate or provide misleading information.
A career as a stockbroker is only open to graduates. You can have a degree in any discipline, although some employers will prefer the following qualifications:
- business studies;
- IT and maths skills
- Ambition and determination
- Ability to persuade
- Communication skills
- Strong decision-making skills
- Ability to work in a high-stress environment
- Very good negotiation skills
- Ability to build lasting relationships.