What Does an Investment Broker Do?

Investment brokers watch the financial markets and keep up with the news to forecast potential market changes. With a job as an investment broker, you can help clients or businesses make sound investment decisions while staying on the cutting edge of the financial markets. Schools offering Finance Investments & Securities degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

An investment broker is a person who manages the sales of stocks, bonds, and securities on the financial market. In particular, brokers sell securities and commodities to individual clients directly. A broker's success is largely built on networking, reputation, and skill, as they must provide sound advice to people based on their individual investing potential.

As a broker, you will help clients who are public investors or retail investors to make the best purchase decisions. You will call in the order to the securities exchange electronically. For each exchange, you charge the customer a commission fee. As an investment broker, you will not only keep up with the market and offer expert advice, but also build and keep a customer base. You will depend on cold calling potential clients. You can also gain clientele by joining social groups or building up a substantial referral business.

Important Facts About Investment Broking

Similar Occupations Financial Analyst, Insurance Sales Agent, Real Estate Broker
On-the-Job Training Internships across different departments in a firm are commonplace
Key Skills Decision making and customer service skills, as well as the ability to take initiative
Concentrations Business, accounting, finance

Education and Licensing

Investment brokers usually have a four-year degree in business or a related major. Brokers typically also receive intensive on-the-job training when they begin their careers with a firm. Some brokers go on to receive a master's degree in business administration, as many firms award higher pay and better positions to those with graduate degrees. Investment brokers must register with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority when hired. You will also need to pass the General Securities Registered Representative exam with a score of 70%. Many states also require brokers to pass the Uniform Securities Agents State Law Examination as well.

Skills and Abilities

A financial services sales agent needs to be proficient in math. You also need to be able to process information quickly. If you combine this attribute with excellent communication and the ability to remain calm under pressure, you will be successful as an investment broker. An ability to sell is helpful as brokers must create a strong client base, often through cold-calling.

Work Environment

Investment brokers work in office settings. Stressful conditions are often commonplace in the offices of investment brokers, and managers can be demanding. Some investment brokers work in 24-hour call centers for discount and online firms. Many brokers work more than forty hours a week, as their clients are not available during the work day.

Potential for Job Growth and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs for commodities, securities, and financial sales agents will likely grow by 11% from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported the median salary for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents at $72,070 in May 2014.

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