So you’ve heard about the very reasonable money stockbrokers can earn and you’ve decided you’d like to try your hand at it. That makes sense; you’re tired of your desk job and you’re thinking working from home sounds like a more enticing prospect. You think you’re the right kind of person to become a stockbroker, and you’ve got the dedication to make it happen. Everything looks like it’s set.
There’s only one problem: you don’t quite know where to start. You’ve looked up the personality traits of successful stockbrokers, so you know that’s you. It’s just that you’re not quite sure exactly where you should begin. Never fear – help is at hand. We’ve assembled a handy 6-step guide on how you can become a stockbroker. It’s time to realise your dreams and jump into the career of a lifetime.
1. Amass some cash first
You don’t want to start jumping into a new job without having a backup reserve of money to fall back on in case things get rough. Around 25% of British adults don’t have any savings backed up, so if this is you, start shoring up some cash right now. If you don’t want to save and simply want to get started, there are ways to do this. You could consider applying for a loan with a reputable provider. Loans will put some quick cash in your account, and they can also be a great way to fix your credit rating (assuming you’re making regular repayments, of course). If your family is supportive of your career change, you could ask them to help you out financially. Alternately, you could sell things you no longer need, or simply save. The choice is yours – just make sure you’re financially well-off before you change career.
2. Make sure you’re the right sort of person
Not everyone has the talent or the personality to become a stockbroker. While the career is undoubtedly an attractive option for many, the truth is that you could fail or perform poorly if you don’t have the traits necessary to succeed in this role. First off, you’re going to need a good head for numbers. Are you the kind of person who can make lightning-quick calculations in your head? Do you have an innate understanding of mathematics? If so, you’re off to a good start. Secondly, you’ll need to be resourceful and reasonably capable of multi-tasking. Science suggests that people aren’t actually as capable of multi-tasking as we once thought, but you’ll still need to know your way around several tasks running alongside each other. Finally, you’ll need to be dedicated. Nobody makes it as a stockbroker if they don’t love what they do and feel passionate about it.
3. Prepare yourself for failure
Before you even begin to think about a career in stockbroking, you’ll need to prepare yourself for potential failure. This is not an easy career; stockbrokers are more competitive and willing to take risks than many other people with different careers. That said, the reality of stockbroking doesn’t actually involve as many short-term risks as you might imagine. After the 2007 economic crisis, trading stocks now involves a lot of long-term assessment and making sure potential investments can be substantiated. There is, of course, still potential for failure, though, and you’re essentially trading on luck (substantiated luck and predictable luck, but in the end it’s still luck). With that in mind, failure is not only possible, it’s probable. Learning to pick yourself up and try again is crucial for stockbroking.
4. Learn what qualifications you need
We’re going to let you in on a little secret: there are no actual educational qualifications necessary if you want to become a stockbroker. There’s no diploma that stockbrokers must display by law if they absolutely can’t obtain an educational qualification. Still, if you want to be a stockbroker, you’ll probably find at the very least that sixth-form education or equivalent in the UK is desirable. If you have a university degree, that’s even better, and if your university degree’s subject is in the same ballpark – economics, for example, or business studies – then you’ll have an innate advantage over those who don’t have these things. Although there’s no educational qualification required, you will need to be licensed by the FSA and possess an Investment Management Certificate (IMC). There are entrance exams, so that’s a consideration you’ll need to take into account.
5. Learn to manage your stress
This is not the right job for you if you become stressed easily. You’ll need to keep up with a fast-paced and rapidly changing work environment, and you’ll be expected to be able to make decisions calmly and rationally even when things look bad. After all, your clients are relying on you – if you mishandle their funds because you succumbed to stress, you won’t be able to find work easily and you’ll find yourself saddled with a bad reputation. Don’t go near stockbroking without finding an effective way to manage your stress levels. Spending time with your family, getting a pet to look after, and maintaining a proper diet and exercise are all great ways to do this. You might scoff, but these things will all add up over time and before you know it you’ll be calm, collected, and ready to make a killing on the market.
6. Enjoy yourself
We aren’t on this planet to spend the majority of our lives miserable. If you don’t enjoy stockbroking, there’s no reason to put yourself through it just because you feel you have to. Stockbroking can be a great career; it can be highly-charged, adrenaline-fuelled, and – of course – potentially extremely lucrative. Still, if you’re not into it, there’s no reason to stick with it. After all, if you don’t love your job, there’s always someone else who does. Make sure your passion is in trading before you embark on this new career path. If it is, you’ll start seeing business and clients before you know it.