Careers in the world of finance are numerous and varied. From working in established institutions to Forex trading and stock market investment, such careers are often very rewarding financially. For those who choose to become a stockbroker, the remuneration can be exceptional. It’s also the sort of work that allows you to meet all kinds of interesting clients. But becoming a stockbroker isn’t easy. While you might not need a specific qualification, you do need in-depth knowledge of the markets. You also have to be excellent at working with customers, who may be either individual retail investors or representatives of large banks and other institutions.
This article will explain some of the skills you need to become a stockbroker and how you can put them into practice. After having worked as a broker for a few years, with the right experience and a reliable network, you could even go on to start a Forex brokerage firm or a stockbroking firm of your own. Although there may be considerable risks involved, there could also be astonishing profit and growth too. Besides, being a stockbroker does come with its own risks, as you probably already know, and when you dive headfirst into this ever-changing market, it’s likely that you’re in it for the long run.
Knowledge of the markets
When a client comes to you looking for advice about adding stocks or securities to their portfolio, you’ll need to respond with very well-informed answers. To do that, you’ll have to back up your recommendations with market data and analysis. Say you recommend stocks in a major high street bank to your client: they’re likely to ask you why, and you’ll need to come back with knowledge of value-changing events like banking regulation consultations, challenger bank expansions, and more. That means you need to stay on top of the latest industry news, and it’s worth investing in a service that provides everything you need to know about stocks this week.
Working as a stockbroker means you’ll spend a lot of your day speaking to the clients who will – hopefully – purchase stocks through you. In some cases, this might be a small-time individual investor with a limited pot of cash. On other occasions it might be an institutional investor, such as a pension fund. You may choose to specialise in one or the other, but the skills required are the same. You’ll need to be able to fully understand the client’s position, which requires empathy, and you’ll also need to have a pleasant and friendly demeanour in order to secure the client’s trust.
Despite the fact that the stock market will inevitably involve some use of figures and numbers, you don’t actually need to be a genius at maths to be successful. Being a stockbroker is more about selling the stocks to the client, and that requires much more than just the ability to count. However, it’s likely that you’ll need to field questions from your clients about certain issues pertaining to figures and numbers, such as potential yields. Having an intermediary-level understanding of numeracy is therefore a good idea.
With high salaries and interesting work, becoming a stockbroker is something that appeals to many people. But it’s not a simple road: it requires an unusual skill set ranging from numeracy to the capacity to retain market knowledge, and it also needs top client liaison abilities as well. If you want to go down this career route it is necessary to start your preparation without delay.