Stockbrokers have been portrayed in many ways in film and media. The most recent example is The Wolf of Wall Street. The job might look glamorous in one depiction and then cutthroat in another. The reality is somewhere in between. You should know the pros and cons of being a stockbroker today.
Potentially Good Pay
One of the major pros of being a stockbroker is the potential for good pay. You can earn a very high base salary if you stick with the job and are successful over time. Your pay can be enhanced by commissions and bonuses as well. Successful stockbrokers can become very wealthy over the course of a career.
A benefit of being a stockbroker is job security. There will always be a demand for stockbrokers as long as there are financial markets. This is true even with the rise of algorithmic trading and day trading. You will never have to worry about being unemployed as a stockbroker. This is especially true if you are successful and become well-known within the financial industry.
Career Advancement Opportunities
Something that is a great advantage of being a stockbroker is the opportunity for career advancement. You will be able to slowly climb the ladder within a company to higher positions. You could find a way into management if you meet some basic educational requirements. Stockbroking is rarely ever a dead-end job.
High Stress and Long Hours
A clear con is that stockbrokers are in high-stress positions that require working long hours. You are constantly going to have to perform. You will have to keep your performance metrics above the competition. You might have to work 14 hours or longer a day. Some successful stockbrokers can have a difficult time leading a normal life outside of work.
The Markets Affect Your Finances
A con that few people realize is that your finances and income will normally be affected by the movements of the markets. If the economy goes into a downturn or recession, you will have fewer customers, fewer profitable trades and more losses. Your personal economic wellbeing is going to be tied to the larger economy and stock markets.
Cold-Calling and Angry People
A final disadvantage is that stockbrokers need to constantly bring in new business. This often means cold-calling people and trying to sell your services or products on the phone. This is basically outbound telemarketing. You will encounter angry or upset people while making these calls.
Becoming a stockbroker isn’t for everybody. It’s all about setting expectations and priorities. If you think it is for you, then be ready to put in the hard work and long hours. But you will be rewarded handsomely in the end.
CC image courtesy of Hernan Seoane on Flickr.
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