Stockbrokers are licensed agents who represent individuals or organizations in financial transactions that deal with stocks. They also may call themselves investment consultants or financial consultants. Stocks give a person ownership in a company. A stockbroker should be knowledgeable, be good with numbers, have excellent relational skills and give attention to details. His work enables him to increase his client’s financial portfolios while at the same time earning him a living.
One of the most basic responsibilities of a stockbroker is to buy stocks on behalf of his client; he may do this in different ways, depending on the type of account the client has. In a discretionary account, the stockbroker buys stock for a client based on some prearranged guidelines. In an advisory account, however, the stockbroker only advises a client on what stock to buy, while in an execution account, the stockbroker only buys stock that the client has specifically indicated.
The other responsibility a stockbroker has is selling stock on behalf of a client. Just as in the case of buying stock, the stockbroker can only sell stocks of a client based on the account that a client signed up for. If a client has an execution-only account, the stockbroker can only sell a client's stock when asked to do so. If a client has an advisory account, a stockbroker can only advise the client to sell his stocks, while if a client has a discretionary account, a stockbroker has some leeway on selling the stocks based on a prearranged guideline.
Competent stockbrokers research accounting, economic and technical analysis of different companies and stocks. Their findings form the basis of their feedback to a client. If a stockbroker believes a client’s stock's price will drop drastically, he'll advise him to sell when the price is still high. If, on the other hand, a stockbroker believes the price of a client's stock will rise significantly, he may advise him to retain the stock. A stockbroker also advises a client about which stocks he should buy to add to his financial portfolio and looks for profitable companies' stocks.
A stockbroker finds prospective clients and builds a customer base. He may do this by writing articles in newspapers and magazines, hosting radio and television shows or taking time to call prospective clients. A stockbroker can also receive new clients through referrals from other individuals and organizations or by attending social events where he can market his services.
- Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images