What is a Securities and Commodities Broker?

A securities and commodities broker connects buyers and sellers in financial markets. They sell securities to individuals, advise companies that are in search of investors, and conduct trades. They work in high stress environments and often work more than 40 hours per week.

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What does a Securities and Commodities Broker do?

Securities and commodities brokers typically:

  • Contact prospective clients to present information and explain available services
  • Offer advice on the purchase or sale of particular securities
  • Buy and sell securities, such as stocks and bonds
  • Buy and sell commodities, such as corn, oil, and gold
  • Monitor financial markets and the performance of individual securities
  • Analyze company finances to provide recommendations for public offerings, mergers, and acquisitions
  • Evaluate cost and revenue of agreements.

Securities and commodities brokers deal with a wide range of products and clients. Agents spend much of the day interacting with people, whether selling stock to an individual or discussing the status of a merger deal with a company executive. The work is usually stressful because agents deal with large amounts of money and have time constraints.

What does it take to be a Securities and Commodities Broker?

Securities and commodities brokers generally must have a bachelor’s degree to get an entry-level job. Studies in business, finance, accounting, or economics are important, especially for larger firms. Many firms hire summer interns before their last year of college, and those who are most successful are offered full-time jobs after they graduate.

Numerous securities and commodities brokers eventually get a Master of Business Administration (MBA), which is often a requirement for high-level positions in the securities industry. Because the MBA exposes students to real-world business practices, it can be a major asset for jobseekers. Employers often reward MBA holders with higher-level positions, better compensation, and large signing bonuses.

Most employers provide intensive on-the-job training, teaching employees the specifics of the firm, such as the products and services offered. Trainees in large firms may receive technical instruction in securities analysis and selling strategies. Firms often rotate their trainees among various departments to give them a broad understanding of the securities business.

Securities and commodities brokers must keep up with new products and services and other developments. They regularly attend conferences and training seminars.

Many other licenses are available, each of which gives the holder the right to sell different investment products and services. Traders and some other sales representatives also need licenses, although these vary by firm and specialization. Most firms offer training to help their employees pass the licensing exams. Securities and commodities brokers usually must attend continuing education classes to keep their licenses. Courses consist of computer-based training on legal requirements or new financial products or services.

What is the workplace of a Securities and Commodities Broker like?

Most securities and commodities brokers work long hours under stressful conditions. The pace of work is fast, and managers are usually demanding of their workers, because both commissions and advancements are tied to sales. In addition, they may work evenings and weekends because many of their clients work during the day.

How much does a Securities and Commodities Broker earn?

The median annual wage of securities and commodities broker was $70,190 in May 2010. (The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.) The lowest 10% earned less than $31,330, and the top 10% earned more than $166,400.

Many securities and commodities brokers earn a commission based on the monetary value of the products they sell. Most firms pay brokers a minimum salary in addition to commissions. Trainee brokers usually earn a salary until they develop a client base. The salary gradually decreases in favour of commissions as the broker gains clients. At higher levels, bonuses far exceed base salary.

Learn more about being a Securities and Commodities Broker