2 answers

What does the daily schedule of a seasoned stock broker look like?

Asked Rockland, Massachusetts

I am a Junior in high school. I am quite interested in this career. I watched the movie Trading Places and I was inspired but that was a movie so I want to know the real life process. #business #investment

2 answers

Donald’s Answer

Updated Alexandria, Virginia

Meng: I managed stock brokers (financial advisors) for much of my career. The most important thing to know is that there is a difference between the movies and real life. In real life, most of your time is spent "selling" not managing portfolios. Many people hate that aspect when they first enter the field. You must pass a number of difficult SEC tests in order to actually trade securities. Once you pass these tests, you then need to build a book of business. In most instances, you start at zero and build from their. Some companies, place you in a cubicle with a phone book and you make hundreds of cold calls - not pleasant at all. It can be lucrative or because a broker most often works on commission it can be difficult. My advice is to try and get an internship (paid or unpaid) with a brokerage company and then ask a lot of questions. There are also a lot of different jobs supporting stock brokers and in the investment field. Explore those also.

Mike’s Answer

Updated New York, New York

Hi Meng,

I was not a stock broker however I am a former flow trader and could tell you a little about that world. Typically I would start my day around 7:30am and finish around 5pm (this can vary depending on which product you trade). As a flow trader your main job is to manage client orders and the long/short - risk exposure of the bank. Clients would call their sales representative and then they would ask you for a price on a trade. As a trader I would go out into the exchange or open market to find a price for my client and then hedge this risk for the bank. Typical things traders like myself would look out for during the day were fundamental developments and technical patterns. The industry has changed dramatically over the years from new regulations and electronic trading. I personally do not think you need an advanced degree to be a trader. Rather a good trader needs to have a high degree of ethics, emotional discipline, be analytical and think quickly. If this is something you are interested in, try to shadow a trader for a day and speak to a few people in the industry.

Don't believe what you see in the movies.... Best of luck.