What is a Stockbroker: Role, Needed Skills and Salary

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 15 November 2022

Published 4 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A career as a stockbroker may require passion in both sales and finance. A stockbroking career offers a high-income potential and fulfilment from growing your own customer base and is suitable for a dedicated and ambitious individual. It's important that you learn what the role entails and the steps to take to become one to decide if this is the right career for you. In this article, we discuss what is a stockbroker, show how much a stockbroker earns, explain how you can become one and answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the role.

Related: Q&A: Why Pursue a Career in Wealth Management? (Plus Salary)

What is a stockbroker?

A stockbroker is a registered professional who may purchase and sell stocks and other assets on behalf of customers, who can be people or institutions. They're compensated by a commission, which can be a fixed charge or a percentage of the transaction's value. It is important that stockbrokers are well-versed in the markets and able to advise clients on the best times to purchase and sell. They are in charge of locating the finest stock pricing for their clients. Some of the common duties of a stockbroker include:

  • offering correct investment advice to customers

  • administering and monitoring client investment portfolios

  • accurately assessing financial data and reports

  • keeping up the speed on the newest financial developments and news

  • keeping customers up to date on the state of their investment portfolios regularly

  • adjusting investment strategies and options based on client goals and market circumstances

  • sourcing and acquiring new clients through networking and cold calling

Related:

  • Q&A: What Does a Financial Advisor Do?

  • What Is an Insurance Broker? (With Career Steps and Skills)

How much does a stockbroker earn?

The national average salary for a broker is $86,641 per year. This figure is highly dependent on the level of professional experience, education and industry qualification. It also varies greatly depending on the employer's organisation size and type. Many stockbrokers obtain a commission depending on the value of the items they sell and the majority of employers pay them a salary in addition to their commissions. New stockbrokers often get a salary until they establish a customer base, after which their pay steadily declines and they earn more from commissions.

How to become a stockbroker

Discussed below are some steps you may consider taking to start your career as a stockbroker:

1. Obtain a bachelor's degree

To qualify for entry-level employment in commodities, securities or financial services, many employers ask for a bachelor's degree. A four-year degree in finance, economics, business management, accounting or a closely related field is desirable. Statistics, quantitative analysis and mathematics are some of the courses that can be most beneficial for this profession. You may also choose to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) to get a competitive advantage over other candidates. Employers frequently reward MBA applicants with more advanced jobs, higher pay and greater signing bonuses.

Related: How to Become a Shipbroker (With Career Tips and Salary)

2. Gather internship experience

Look for internship opportunities while obtaining your degree. You may find an internship at a local brokerage. Some companies employ interns to work in their offices. Internships not only provide a real-world application for your education but also build important contacts for when you're ready to look for work following graduation. This is also a helpful method to gain access to additional work training that many brokerage firms offer to new stockbrokers, providing you with a competitive advantage over other job seekers.

Related: What Is an Equity Trader? (With Job Duties and Tips)

3. Obtain an entry-level employment

To become a stockbroker, it's important that you first establish and demonstrate a thorough grasp of financial markets, accounting procedures and regulatory requirements. Find entry-level trainee employment to continue your education. This can allow you to hone your talents while also completing the training hours necessary for your licencing exam.

4. Take and pass the licensing exams

Choose the type of licence you wish to get. Many have educational requirements and a minimum number of hours worked. The most common licensure is the Capital Markets and Financial Advisory Services (CMFAS) Examinations, which refer to Singapore's licensing exams for capital markets and financial advising services. After passing the appropriate test modules, applicants are to register with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) before engaging in regulated activities.

Frequently asked questions about being a stockbroker

Outlined below are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about becoming a stockbroker:

Is being a stockbroker a good career?

Stockbrokers can achieve great success throughout the course of their careers. One of the most significant advantages of this profession is that your commissions and incentives may considerably increase your base pay. If you continue with the work and are successful over time, you might earn a very high base pay. Successful stockbrokers may amass an enormous fortune throughout their careers.

What skills do you need as a stockbroker?

A stockbroker requires a number of both hard and soft skills, including:

  • Mathematical abilities: As a stockbroker, it's important that you're able to solve mathematical problems. Stockbrokers often compute percentages, earnings and dividends in a timely and precise manner.

  • Attention to detail: It is important to be detail-oriented since your work entails dealing with important subsets of numbers. It's essential that you're able to spot inconsistencies and errors in accounting computations.

  • Communication skills: As a stockbroker, it's essential that you possess excellent nonverbal and verbal communication abilities to understand a client's financial needs. Stockbrokers frequently utilise interpersonal skills to create trust and connections with clients.

  • Persuasion: You may face situations where you might persuade your clients or higher-ups and encourage them about good financial plans and budgeting approaches. You can use persuasion skills to explain your points clearly with evidence to encourage them to take certain actions.

  • Decision-making: A stockbroker is responsible for making critical financial decisions for each of their clients. In this job, the ability to make quick and confident choices based on market data is critical.

  • Risk analysis: This talent demonstrates your ability to examine financial papers and identify possible risk factors for some investment options. This ability is highly beneficial to help you manage your client portfolio, and you can analyse risk to determine the most effective investment options.

  • Negotiation abilities: Stockbrokers frequently utilise their negotiation abilities to negotiate fees, trading expenses and the number of portfolios they handle. The capacity to compromise and convince is essential.

Related: 15 Ways on How To Communicate Effectively at the Workplace

What is the work environment of a stockbroker?

Stockbrokers generally work at a financial institution, interacting with clients and other stockbrokers daily. Their work often entails frequent use of computers and technical tools and regular interaction with clients. You may travel internationally as well. You can expect a dynamic and fast-paced work environment that is always changing and may be stressful.

The stock market may vary dramatically from the time it opens to the time it closes, so stockbrokers are comfortable in a turbulent environment. Regular communication with customers is essential as stockbrokers are to keep them up to date on returns and seek extra portfolios to spend as needed. Some stockbrokers may travel to meet with personal and business clients who reside in different countries.

How does a stockbroker make money?

Stockbrokers generate money by charging fees and commissions for every activity performed on their platform, such as placing a trade. When a customer buys or sells stocks through a stockbroker, they charge customers a fee or a commission. Stockbrokers make more money in fees or commissions the more stocks they deal with.

Related: What Is Commission Pay and How Does It Work? (With Types)

Should I get a certification as a stockbroker?

Obtaining certification and an MBA might help you stand out in the job market. Certification is optional but could help you qualify for advanced roles or earn a higher salary. Certifications serve as a validation of your competence, professionalism and dedication. This can help you attract new clients. A Chartered Financial Analyst qualification is an excellent choice for a stockbroker.

Related: Corporate Certifications: 5 Best Credentials To Have

How do you build a client base as a stockbroker?

There are several methods for locating new clients, including:

  • making cold calls to create new accounts

  • contacting pre-qualified prospects given by your company or a marketing business

  • contacting family or friends for referrals

  • making use of organisation memberships, such as a local chamber of commerce

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article is affiliated with Indeed. Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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