Stockbrokers buy and sell shares and other financial products for their clients, and aim to help them maximise returns on their investments.

They provide three types of service: 

-  discretionary financial brokers have complete authority from their clients to buy and sell investments, without consulting clients before every transaction.
-  advisory stockbrokers present clients with options and advice, which the client may or may not choose to act upon.
-  ‘execution only' employees act solely upon requests from clients to buy or sell investments, they do not give advice.

They work closely with investment analysts and traders, studying and researching company results and market trends and also manage and review clients' portfolios at regular intervals, present clients with new investment ideas and strategies, and market their services to potential clients.

There are around 13,000 stockbrokers working in the UK. Employers include financial investment houses and global banks, as well as specialist stockbroking firms. There is always fierce competition for posts, with more applicants than vacancies.

Salaries have a wide range from £25,000 to over £180,000 a year and bonuses can be large.

How do you become a Stockbroker?

Candidates should be good at communicating information quickly and clearly, good with numbers, decisive and confident and interested in how the financial markets and global economy work.

Most stockbrokers have a 2.1 degree and good A levels/H grades, and increasingly entrants have postgraduate qualifications. 

To trade in the financial markets they must pass an appropriate examination and be registered with the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Most trainees receive on-the-job training.

Promotion is based upon performance. With experience they may be able to take on larger client portfolios or move into an associate position, responsible for a larger team.  Later in their careers, they may move into account/fund management or take on a more consultative role.

Contact the Accountancy Division Team

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