Stockbrokers usually have various clients ranging from individuals to large corporations, and it’s their responsibility to manage and monitor the investments made for them.
There are generally three types of stockbroking services: advisory, where a stockbroker only offers advice on investments; execution-only, which means they only buy and sell securities at a client’s instruction; and discretionary, where full control is given to a stockbroker to trade and make decisions on a client’s behalf.
Although employment is readily available in financial institutions and brokerage firms, under local regulations, hopefuls still must obtain licences from the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) before entering the industry.
While anyone with a graduate degree and the right experience can be a stockbroker, employers sometimes prefer numerate, business, financial, or management degrees. Once hired, graduates will normally start out by shadowing a mentor to gain experience.
Around the world, stockbrokers are diversifying their range of services to include financial consultation and planning. Where stockbroking in the past only dealt with the trade of high risk and high return securities, brokers are now akin to financial advisors who offer full- service financial planning services.
Besides an ability to manage stress well, recruiters keep an eagle eye out for strong mathematical, analytical and decision- making skills as stockbrokers not only have to keep a close eye on the stock market, but make good trading decisions as well.
The changing industry has also brought about a shift towards an advisory consultant role, so having great etiquette with client interaction, being persuasive during negotiations and having good people skills will give candidates an advantage. This will also stand them in good stead when they begin fostering good relationships with clients and assuaging any concerns about investments.
Pros & cons
Fourteen-hour days aren’t uncommon and the stakes can be incredibly high – but financial rewards earned in commissions on each transaction made can be impressive. Additionally, ambitious individuals will be able to take on a lot of responsibilities, and still find plenty of room to advance upwards.
On the flip side, income is largely dependent on the movement of the markets, so profitable trades can be hard to come by in a downturn or recession