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Stockbrokers buy and sell securities (eg stocks and shares) on a commission basis on behalf of private and commercial clients.

Stockbrokers can command high salaries, but the hours are often long and the working environment can be stressful.

What does a stockbroker do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

A stockbroker will work with a range of clients, from individuals to large companies. Their role is to manage and look after their clients’ investments. They do this by offering three types of service: advisory, which means offering advice on which investments to make; execution only, which means buying or selling at the client’s request; and discretionary, which means being given control over all investments and making decisions on the client’s behalf.

Stockbrokers are responsible for:

  • providing investment advice and recommendations
  • monitoring UK and foreign stock market performance
  • purchasing new share issues
  • interpreting financial reports
  • administering and evaluating clients' investment holdings
  • marketing themselves to potential clients.

Stockbroking is a career that offers high levels of responsibility, good opportunities for promotion and impressive financial rewards including generous salaries and large bonuses. In return, however, long hours of work and high levels of stress are common.

Typical employers of stockbrokers

Stockbrokers are employed by banks, financial houses and specialist brokers.

Vacancies are advertised by TARGETjobs, careers services, recruitment agencies, in The Evening Standard, The Financial Times, national newspapers, and specialist publications such as The Economist, as well as their online equivalents. Early applications to major employers are advisable. Relevant sector/company research, attending presentations and networking are essential.

Qualifications and training required

A career as a stockbroker is only open to graduates. You can have a degree in any discipline, although some employers will prefer a management, business, financial or numerate subject. A number of institutions offer specialist postgraduate qualifications, which can be advantageous, as can relevant work experience gained via job shadowing, placements or vacation work.

Key skills for stockbrokers

  • IT and maths skills
  • Ambition and determination
  • Ability to persuade
  • Communication skills
  • Strong decision-making skills
  • Ability to work in a high-stress environment
  • Very good negotiation skills
  • Ability to build lasting relationships.

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In Partnership

This content has been written or sourced by AGCAS, the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, and edited by TARGETjobs as part of a content partnership. AGCAS provides impartial information and guidance resources for higher education student career development and graduate employment professionals.

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