Career as a stockbroker

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Sharon Fuller works at the Leeds head office of a stockbrokers. She draws up portfolios of investments for people and companies, and takes part in the buying and selling of stocks and shares for them.

What is your main role as a stockbroker?

There are two sides to my job. With the advisory service, the client outlines their personal investment objectives and the risks they are prepared to take, and I give them some ideas about stocks and shares that might suit them. These clients will instruct me on what to buy and when to sell, so ultimately the responsibility lies with them.

Some of our clients though, especially those based overseas, opt for discretionary management which means they trust me to act on their behalf. Regular communications keep them informed of their portfolio performance. This is a very tailor-made service.

What tasks are involved in your career as a stockbroker?

Most of my time is filled with client meetings and visiting companies that are looking to boost their presence in the market. When I'm not on the phone, I am drawing up portfolios and valuation reports.

Do you specialise in one area?

Our team of eight all have different specialisms. Mine is the UK retail market and supermarkets. However, we all work together and share our expertise. Alone, it would be very hard to develop ideas for our clients – you need to have a broad perspective.

Who do you work with?

I work mainly with my fellow stockbrokers. We have a dedicated trading desk in our office for difficult deals. I handle most of the deals myself, liaising directly with the markets via my trading machine – a computer linked to the markets.

How do you keep track of everything?

I personally write a checklist each day and try to tick everything off. It is a fastpaced, multi-tasking environment. There are regular valuations to write for clients every quarter, combined with constantly watching the markets, talking to clients and making deals. I enjoy the flexibility to manage my own workload.

What hours do you work?

The stock market opens at 8.00am, so I am usually at my desk before then and I leave after 5.00pm. Because my stocks are UK based, the hours aren't too long. Stockbrokers trading in commodities or Far East stocks can stay behind much later.

What training have you done?

To trade, I had to pass a Securities & Investment Institute (SII) Certificate in Securities registered representative examination. I then took the SII Diploma, which included three examinations. It took me 18 months and required a huge commitment.

Why did you choose your career as a stockbroker?

I like the challenge and the team environment. You learn so much every day and it's really enjoyable meeting and interacting with clients.

Sharon's route to her career as a stockbroker

  • A levels.
  • Degree in European Business.
  • Gap year working at bank.
  • Registered representative of the Securities & Investment Institute (SII).
  • SII Diploma.

Sharon's stockbroker tips

  • Try to get some work experience in the field.
  • Good decision-making ability is very important.
  • Prepare yourself for at least 18 months of further study after leaving university.

Stockbroker related jobs

  • Auditor
  • Fund manager
  • Investment/merchant banker
  • Stock Market dealer/trader
  • Stock Exchange investment analyst

Salary of a stockbroker

  • New graduate entrants usually earn around £25,000 to £35,000, rising to over £45,000 with experience.
  • Successful stockbrokers can earn upto £100,000 or more.

Career as a stockbroker

  • Most stockbrokers are usually employed directly from university with a relevant degree in a subject such as law, accountancy, business or economics.
  • Increasingly, entrants possess or take postgraduate qualifications, including a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). Previous experience in industry sectors, such as telecommunications, the pharmaceutical industry or the retail sector, may help applicants.
  • Jobs within investment and private banks are generally based in London, although stockbroking firms can also be found in other UK towns and cities.
  • Interviews often include psychometric and aptitude tests. Before trading, stockbrokers must pass an appropriate examination recognised by the Financial Services Skills Council.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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