Stock Broker

How to Become a Stock Broker
Stock Broker Job Description
Skills and Qualities of a Stock Broker
Stock Broker Salary
Influential Stock Brokers
Leading Organizations for Stock Brokers
Top Cities for Stock Broker Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Stock Broker

Most broker positions require at the minimum a bachelor's degree, although very few actually require a specific degree. A college education is important as a potential broker will need a thorough understanding of economic conditions and trends. Most potential stock brokers get Bachelor degrees in accounting, business, finance or economics.

Many brokerage firms offer internships to promising students, who, if successful, have the potential to be offered full-time jobs upon their graduation.

In most cases, getting an MBA (Masters in Business Administration) is the best course for a potential stock broker, following the completion of a Bachelor's degree.

On the job training is also important for a potential stock broker. Most employers offer some form or other of intensive training, including specialized business models, which must be learned, as well as regular rotation among the different departments in a brokerage firm. This is in order to give the potential broker a well-rounded look at the business.

A license may also be required in some states. Brokers must register as representatives of their firm with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) as soon as they have passed the General Securities Registered Representative Examination (also known as the Series 7 Exam) administered by FINRA. They may take this test only after they have been employed by their firm for more than four months.

Some states may also require a second examination as well as the former; the Uniform Securities Agents State Law Examination measures the potential broker's knowledge of the securities business, the current customer protection requirements and the necessary and required record-keeping procedures. Luckily, most firms offer the relevant courses to help their employees pass these examinations.

What does a Stock Broker do?

Put simply, a stock broker is a certified and regulated professional investments broker. They buy and sell shares and other securities on behalf of various private investors. Stock brokers sell securities to the public, who are referred to as 'investors'. Investors work through a broker rather than trading investments directly. For example, an investor will speak with the stock broker about trading an investment. Then the broker will relay the terms of the trade to a trader at the company's headquarters.

Investment companies can often find other clients within the company itself who are willing to buy or sell the same security. If not, the stock broker will place an order with a floor broker at an exchange. Sometimes a stock broker will trade the stock on an electronic network through use of the internet and teleconferencing in order to reach potential buyers abroad or in different parts of the country.

The stock broker charges a fee for this service. He may earn a bonus by finding a lower price for the security than the investor stated. He may also work on commission, which means the more money he earns for a particular investor the more he will be paid in his wages.

The most important part of a stock broker's job, however, is undoubtedly the act of finding clients and subsequently building a lasting customer base to work from. After a stock broker has established their reputation, referrals from satisfied clients will prove to be an important source of potential new business.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Stock Broker?

Good personal qualities and people skills are sometimes considered to be more important than high levels of academic training with regard to a potential stock broker. Most employers these days are looking for applicants who have well developed interpersonal skills, an aptitude for teamwork, an excellent work ethic and a burning desire to succeed.

The ability to readily understand and be analytical with numbers is perhaps paramount and certainly important. Stock brokers are often entrusted with great amounts of money and personal information, so most, if not all, employers will take great pains to make sure that applicants have an exemplary credit history and a spotless record in all other respects. High levels of self-confidence and the ability to be able to handle frequent rejection are important for success as well. Stock brokers must be able to display confidence for their investors so as to garner their complete trust in matters dealing with their money. A good personality and the ability to communicate effectively are important in this regard.

The ability to work independently is immensely important for a stock broker. Many employers often prefer to hire those who have achievements in other professions within the financial industry.

Sales experience, particularly the expertise that goes along with working for commission in areas such as real estate or insurance, is a much-looked for element in a potential stock broker. Other firms prefer to employ people straight out of college after a successful internship, with the intention of molding them into their idea of an ideal employee.

How much does a Stock Broker make?

The median per year earnings of the average stock broker was $68,500 as of 2006, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The most highly paid earned more than $145,600 a year. Those paid the median earned between $42,630 and $126,290 a year. Those paid the least earned less than $31,170 per year.

Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Perhaps the most famous stock broker is Christopher Gardner, whose struggle to gain his first position was documented in the 2006 film, 'The Pursuit of Happiness'.

Martha Stewart worked as stock broker for several years before starting her lifestyle business with the profits.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

There are a multitude of stock brokerage firms both in the United States and abroad. Some of the leading firms include Merrill Lynch, Salomon Smith Barney, US Securities and Futures Corporation, Charles Schwab, and JP Morgan & Company.

What are the top cities for Stock Broker jobs?

New York, due to the Stock Exchange, is probably the leading city in terms of where a potential stock broker would like to be. Other than New York, Huntsville, Alabama is the top ranking metropolitan area in regards to rate of pay according to the Labor Statistics Bureau. Just below it is Rapid City, South Dakota. Third on the list is Bridgeport, Connecticut.

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