Stockbrokers are agents charged with buying and selling orders submitted by an investor in exchange for a commission or fee. Behind this simple definition is a layered role, one that demands a deep financial acumen, strong analytical skills, and an ability to remain cool under constant pressure. For individuals that have the right skill set, it can be one of the most rewarding positions to pursue in finance.
What Does a Stock Broker Do?
Essentially, stockbrokers operate as the ‘eyes and ears’ for their clients, managing their money in a manner that optimizes financial gain. Since stockbrokers typically earn their living through commissions, selecting investments that produce substantial growth is critical for their own success.
One of the most attractive elements behind a day in the life of a stockbroker is that there are rarely two identical days. That said, there are a few typical activities that tend to occur on a relatively consistent basis. For instance, stockbrokers will usually spend time analyzing news and tax law information that may affect their clients’ portfolios. This research and analysis continue when the market opens, along with a mix of contacting clients and meetings.
Since stockbrokers are responsible for building their own portfolios, they also spend a good chunk of time looking for new clients while they handle the investment needs of their existing clients. This could lead the stockbroker into attending networking events, teaching seminars, or performing various self-marketing techniques such as cold calling.
Becoming a Stock Broker
A bachelor’s degree is typically required to become a stockbroker. However, earning an advanced degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA), can be helpful for stockbrokers looking to pursue higher-level careers in the investment field. Earning an MBA can also aid individuals in networking with other individuals pursuing similar goals. These connections could potentially help individuals grow their careers with greater efficiency.
Stockbrokers must also be licensed through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In order to obtain the license, they need to pass a pair of exams that cover foundational topics such as buying and selling securities.
Stock Broker Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median pay for a stockbroker is around $64,000. There are several factors that can shape the precise salary amount an individual may receive, such as level of education and years of experience. It is also a competitive market with the BLS projecting a 4% growth rate for the profession between 2018 and 2028.
Gaining experience on the job can be crucial to earning success. It can take anywhere from five to ten years to not only establish a solid network of connections but to also cultivate a reputation as an exemplary stockbroker. However, with the right network and reputation, being a stockbroker can be a remarkably rewarding and satisfying career.
Learn more, check out the infographic below created by Ohio University’s Online Masters of Business Administration program.
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Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, About FINRA
Houston Chronicle, What Are the Duties of a Stockbroker?
Investopedia, A Day in the Life of a Stockbroker
Seattle Post Intelligencer, What Are Classes to Be a Good Stock Broker?
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents