Career profile: Stockbroker
Are you a natural at wheeling and dealing? Do you like a fast-paced lifestyle? Find out more about the life of a stockbroker.
Stockbrokers buy and sell stocks and shares for their clients, with the aim of increasing their client’s original investment.
On the job
Stockbrokers invest money for their clients in companies whose shares are traded on the stock market. Their clients could be institutions or individuals and their investments are often international.Stockbrokers usually work long hours but are paid well for their efforts. As they often need to deal in overseas commodities, they need to be around when those markets are open. This means they often have to be in the office before 7am and may have to stay late as well. They work in open-plan offices with analysts and traders. It is a busy, sometimes stressful environment where you have to constantly process and act on new information as it arrives.
To succeed in this area you need to be ambitious and confident with a good head for numbers and the ability to persuade and inspire other people.
Starting salaries for stockbrokers are around £25,000 to £30,000 a year and can reach over £200,000 as you gain more experience. There is also the opportunity to receive huge bonuses each year based on performance.
How do I get there?
Most stockbrokers have a good degree and A levels or equivalent qualifications. Subjects such as economics, law and accountancy are useful, but employers will normally accept a degree in any subject, provided you have done well and pass any interviews and aptitude tests they give you. Given the amount of international work, a second language may be useful.
Some firms may be willing to train non-graduates and allow them to work their way up to stock broking. Employers generally look for people with good A levels and some business experience.