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Job Photographs

  • A man is sitting at a desk, using a computer.

    Stockbrokers buy and sell stocks and shares on behalf of their clients. This can be done online.

  • A man, wearing a suit and tie, is sitting at a desk.  He is speaking on a telephone and looking at a printed document.

    Taking an instruction from a client over the phone.

  • A man is sitting at a table, looking at something on a printed paper document.  He is holding a pen.

    Reviewing the performance of a client's portfolio of shares.

  • A man is sitting at a desk, using a computer.

    Checking current share prices.

  • A man is sitting at a table, speaking on a telephone.  He is looking at a sheet of paper, containing bar charts.

    Negotiating a transaction on the phone.

  • A man is sitting in an office, reading a broadsheet newspaper.

    Keeping up to date with the financial press.

  • A man and a woman are sitting at a table in an office.  They are looking at some paper documents and the man is pointing to something on one of them.

    Advising a client on an investment.

  • A man and a woman are sitting at a table in an office, talking.  The man is holding a paper document and a pen.

    Discussing stock price movement with a colleague.

  • Stockbroker

Stockbroker

Introduction

As a Stockbroker, you will buy and sell stocks and shares on behalf of clients looking for the best return on their investments. You'll often also offer financial advice. Your clients can be large institutions or individual investors.

Also known as

  • Broker, Stock
  • Private Client Stockbroker

Work Activities

Stockbroking is a collective term that covers several types of career including Market makers, Traders and Analysts.

As a Private Client Stockbroker, you will buy and sell things like stocks and shares and government bonds (collectively known as securities) on behalf of clients, and/or offer them financial advice. You might recommend to clients the best time to buy or sell securities, based on their continual monitoring of the financial markets.

Online Stockbrokers have access to the latest share prices and other essential financial information. Negotiations for the sale and purchase of securities are carried out by telephone or by computer.

You will help advise clients - ranging from individual investors to large institutions. You must first build up a clear understanding of each client's investment objectives.

Individual clients might want to make investments to provide finance for things like housing, pensions, education, insurance or luxuries. Factors that you must take into account include existing income/assets, the length of time the client wants to invest for, how much risk they are prepared to take, their preferences and suitability.

In addition, you'll advise on investment and unit trusts, pension schemes and other financial services, and you'll manage portfolios (collections) of securities for clients. This involves the regular review of portfolios to check results and recommend changes as appropriate.

You must make sure that your clients' records are kept up to date at all times.

Large companies might seek your advice on the type of securities they should issue and the best time to try to raise money, by using a corporate finance section of a broker or investment bank.

You will base their advice on up-to-date information from many sources including the opinions and forecasts of investment analysts.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

As a Stockbroker, you'll need to be:

  • Interested in helping individuals and businesses to achieve their financial goals.
  • Able to give presentations.
  • Able to cope with pressure and to take responsibility for your decisions.
  • Interested in business and economics.
  • Able to pay attention to detail.
  • Prepared to keep up to date with financial news.
  • Able to keep accurate records of transactions.

You should have:

  • Good verbal and written communication skills.
  • Listening skills.
  • Teamwork and interpersonal skills.
  • Confidence with figures. You will need to be able to analyse and interpret information.
  • Negotiating skills.
  • The capacity for quick, clear thought.
  • IT skills.

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £15,000 - £25,000
  • With experience: £30,000 - £58,000

Hours of work

Typically, your working day will be from 7 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, but some work longer hours and at weekends.

Where could I work?

Employers are the 400-plus member firms of the London Stock Exchange. Many are large banking and finance houses offering a range of financial services such as banking, market making and investment advice.

Most opportunities are in London, with openings also in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, the Channel Islands and smaller regional offices.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in national newspapers, on financial job boards and on employers' websites.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

Most Stockbrokers are graduates or people who have worked their way up from other stock market positions. Holders of a degree in business, finance or economics might have an advantage. Some entrants have a postgraduate qualification.

A good place to start is studying for an Institute of Financial Services (IFS) Level 3 Diploma in Financial Studies. You will need to find a college that offers this subject.

A Degree Apprenticeship is also a great place to start.

Whatever qualifications you offer, personality and an aptitude for the job are just as important.

Some employers might offer a summer internship for students and graduates, although this does not guarantee a job offer. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details

Training

As a new entrant you will receive on-the-job training and you must pass an exam that is recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to become a registered Stockbroker. Larger firms might offer graduate training schemes.

For career progression, there is an option of taking further study for relevant professional exams, such as the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) Masters in Wealth Management.

The retail financial sector has undergone considerable regulatory change following the Retail Distribution Review (RDR). The RDR has redefined and raised the level of compulsory qualifications for professionals operating in the retail financial sector (dealing and/or advising in investment products, securities and derivatives).

The new qualifications include:

  • The CISI level 4 Investment Advice Diploma in Securities, Derivatives or Private Client Advice.
  • The Investment Management Certificate plus the first level of the Chartered Financial Analyst qualification from the CFA Society of the UK.

The Chartered Insurance Institute and ifs School of Finance also have RDR-compliant qualifications.

Progression

Stockbrokers can progress by handling larger accounts and by moving to larger organisations. Promotion to senior, manager and director posts is possible.

Work Experience

Knowledge of the securities industry is important. Some applicants have developed relevant skills by working in accountancy, economics, banking or insurance.

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act

Working as a dealer in securities is an exception to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This means that you must supply information to an employer about any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings, if they ask you to.

This is different from other careers, where you only have to reveal information on unspent convictions if you are asked to.

Qualifications

For entry to a degree course, the usual minimum requirement is:

  • 2/3 A levels
  • GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in 2/3 other subjects.

You are likely to need GCSEs in English and Maths at grade C/4 or above. A level Maths might be required for some degrees such as economics.

Alternatives to A levels include:

  • BTEC Level 3 qualifications
  • the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

However, course requirements vary, so check prospectuses carefully.

To get onto a Degree Apprenticeship, you will usually need at least 2 A levels.

UCAS tariff points from the following qualifications might be accepted by some institutions for some courses, in combination with other qualifications:

  • The ifs Certificate or Diploma in Financial Studies.
  • The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) Certificate for Introduction to Securities and Investment.

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A-level.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Skills/experience

Knowledge of the securities industry is important. Some applicants have developed relevant skills by working in accountancy, economics, banking or insurance.

Access courses

If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree course, a college or university Access course (for example, Access to Business) could be the way in. No qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.

Distance learning

Relevant professional qualifications are available by distance learning from the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) and the CFA Society of the UK.

Further Information

Recruit.co.uk

Publisher: Financial Skills Partnership (FSP)

Address: 51 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HQ

Tel: 0845 2573772

Email: directions@financialskillspartnership.org.uk

Website: www.directions.org.uk/careers

Financial Skills Partnership (FSP)

Skills for the financial, finance and accountancy sectors

Address: 51 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HQ

Tel: 0845 2573772

Email: info@financialskillspartnership.org.uk

Website: www.financialskillspartnership.org.uk

Inside Careers

Specialists in graduate careers

Address: Unit 6, The Quad, 49 Atalanta Street, Fulham, London SW6 6TU

Tel: 020 7565 7900

Website: www.insidecareers.co.uk

Getting into Business & Economics Courses

Author: Carly Roberts Publisher: Trotman

Website: www.prospectseducationresources.co.uk/products/9781911067382.html

London Institute of Banking and Finance

Address: 8th Floor, Peninsular House, 36 Monument Street, London EC3R 8LJ

Tel: 020 7444 7111

Email: customerservices@ifslearning.ac.uk

Website: www.ifslearning.ac.uk

CFA Society of the UK

Tel: 020 7648 6200

Email: info@cfauk.org

Website: www.cfauk.org

Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI)

Address: 8 Eastcheap, London EC3M 1AE

Tel: 020 7645 0600

Email: clientservices@cisi.org

Website: www.cisi.org

Career Guide 2011

Publisher: CFA Society of the UK

Website: viewer.zmags.com/publication/c9b3ceea#/c9b3ceea/1

London Stock Exchange

Address: 10 Paternoster Square, London EC4M 7LS

Tel: 020 7797 1000

Website: www.londonstockexchange.com

People Exchange Cymru (PEC)

Public sector recruitment portal for Wales

Email: peopleexchangecymru@gov.wales

Website: www.peopleexchangecymru.org.uk/home

Croeso i Gyrfa Cymru

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