When people or corporations want to buy stock, they do so through a stockbroker. Stockbrokers are familiar with the stock market and with the various types of investment products available to clients. They communicate with their clients to determine the types of stocks and products that best fit with their financial goals and current investment portfolio.
While stockbrokers must have knowledge in finance and investment, they must also have very strong sales skills.
Most stockbrokers are required to meet certain sales quotas to remain employed, and they are responsible for bringing in new clients and selling them stocks or other investment products. Students in finance programs take general education courses in English, mathematics, and sciences in addition to foundational business administration courses like economics, accounting, legal issues in business, marketing, management, organizational behavior, and information systems.
They then take courses related to their concentration. These courses may cover topics like management of business capital, investment and portfolio management, financial modeling, risk management, financial markets and institutions, and corporate finance.
Some students take on internships with brokerages while completing their degree.
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Completing an internship can give students valuable experience that will help them determine their career path and make them more attractive candidates for jobs after graduation. Graduates of undergraduate business programs can seek jobs at brokerages.
Most brokerages provide new employees with on-the-job training that can last several months. During training, new stockbrokers learn about the financial markets and the products their brokerage sells. They also learn sales strategies and prepare to earn the licenses they need to legally work as a stockbroker. Once the training period is over, stockbrokers are expected to build their own client base and start meeting sales quotas.
Stockbrokers must hold certain securities licenses in order to buy and sell stocks. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority FINRA oversees stockbroker registration and licensure. To register as a representative of their brokerage, stockbrokers must pass specific exams administered by FINRA. Stockbrokers are first required to pass the Series 7 and Series 63 exams. Some obtain a Master of Business Administration MBA degree before pursuing a job as a stockbroker.
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Earning an MBA can take an additional two to three years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics groups stockbrokers with other securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents.
At the beginning of their careers, trainees and new stockbrokers earn a salary, but as they gain experience, a larger portion of their compensation comes from commission on the sales they complete. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents will grow 11 percent between and , about as fast as the average growth for all occupations.
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The BLS predicts that brokers who specialize in commodities will have the best job prospects, but competition for all types of stockbroker positions will be strong because of the potential for high compensation. Stockbrokers who hold graduate degrees or advanced certifications should have the best chances to land a job. Stockbrokers who bring in large amounts of sales can advance into positions that allow them to interact with bigger clients.
A stockbroker may start working with individual clients, for example, and then progress to working with small businesses and then larger corporations.
Some stockbrokers advance into portfolio manager positions, and some very successful stockbrokers are offered partnerships in their brokerage.
Many stockbrokers earn their first job offer through networking. Completing an internship while in college is a great way to make contacts in the industry, and your work may lead to a job offer after graduation. If you attended a business school, your alumni network can be another good way to network with people.
As you connect with more people who work in investment, you should learn more about potential job opportunities. You can learn more about becoming a stockbroker by reading publications that focus on Wall Street and business issues. Websites and publications like Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, and Investopedia. Home Career List Expert Advice Contact Us.
How to Become a Stock Broker.
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