Do you have excellent communication, negotiation and analytical skills? Do you like working in a fast-paced and challenging financial environment? Advising and counselling clients on appropriate investments and working as a stockbroker may be the career for you.
What’s this career about?
Stockbrokers deal with a variety of investments, including stocks, bonds and mutual funds. They invest in the stock market for individuals or corporations. Only members of the stock exchange can conduct transactions, so whenever individuals or corporations want to buy or sell stocks they must go through a brokerage house.
Brokers explain the workings of the stock exchange to their clients and gather information from them about their needs and financial ability, and then determine the best investments for them. The broker then sends the order out onto the floor of the securities exchange by computer or by phone. When the transaction has been made, the broker supplies the client with the price. The buyer pays for the stock and the broker transfers the title of the stock to the client and performs clearing and settlement procedures.
In order to provide the best advice to their customers, stockbrokers continuously research publicly traded companies, their products and finances. They also stay abreast of market trends and know which stocks offer good long-term and short-term investments.
Apart from work, stockbrokers always remain in touch with their clients in order to understand their needs. They constantly update them about the fluctuations in the market and advise them when to buy and sell and at what rates. At the same time, stockbrokers also ensure that their stock trading company also makes maximum profit in the long run. Initially, brokers spend many hours on the phone building up a client base.
Stockbrokers may specialize in either private client or institutional client work; in dealing or in advising; or in certain types of securities. The work is, mainly, sales-oriented and is conducted on the telephone. Since the industry is performance-driven, one has to be on their toes all the time to keep pace with the market movement.
All the operations today are computerised, with highly-trained and qualified specialists keeping a close watch on the market. One can survive in the stockbroking career only if they have a knack of thinking on their feet and be adaptable in an ever-changing environment.
- How do I get there?
- Key skills
- Employment prospects
- Pay packages
Dr Vibha Gupta, a feature writer, is a Ph.D. in Mathematics from IIT Roorkee. Her book Careers: A Pathfinder and articles in various publications are an attempt to guide students in choosing a career according to their natural strengths, talents and skills.