There is an image, often associated with film and literature, in which all stock brokers seem to be high-earning, slightly shady types. Beyond fiction, the profession of stockbroking, for the average worker, can be very well paid and give a very good income, but they are not all millionaires, nor does it have much to do with fiction.
If you have been attracted to the image of the successful, multi-millionaire, somewhat rogue, shady business stock broker that movies have often shown us, we regret to tell you that for the vast majority of stock brokers this is not the case at all.
The fact that some experiences, bordering on or exceeding illegality, have had commercial success, or that we may confuse fiction with reality, should not hide the importance of a job such as stockbroking.
How much a stock broker earns
There is no average salary that we can apply to all stock brokers. It will depend on many different factors.
The average salary of a stock broker in the United States can be around $65,000 per year. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, this salary in 2017 was around $63,000 per year. However, there are large wage differences.
We can find stock brokers earning more than $200,000 per year and another important group earning between $100,000 and $200,000 per year. However, between them, these two groups barely exceed 10% of the country’s stock brokers, and securities and financial services sales agents.
Therefore, we can understand that it is indeed a very well-paid job with an average salary of almost $15,000 more than the American average salary. However, for the majority of professionals, it is far from the astronomical figures that one might imagine.
How much do stock brokers on Wall Street make?
Another image associated with the US investment world is that Wall Street brokers are the highest earners. Indeed, people think they are the highest earners in the world. This, again, is a half-truth.
Wall Street is indeed a financial trading heartland and as such, some of the highest-earning stock brokers in the country, and in the world, are located there. However, this does not mean that for the average Wall Street financial worker, salaries and benefits are as high.
In general, what such a well-defined financial environment does offer is the possibility to promote much more than anywhere else.
In other words, it may be an area with more opportunities for financial workers. But, on average, they will have to work for similar or slightly higher salaries than other financial workers of a similar level in the rest of the country.
How does a stock broker get ready?
A broker, also against the fiction sometimes portrayed, must be well prepared if he or she wants to reach the higher salary ranges of this career.
First of all, you need a Bachelor’s degree. If you want to make it to the top, you have to combine this with specializations in finance. Generally, those seeking a career in the stock markets combine studies and related summer jobs.
After that, the next step would be to start trading at a FINRA-registered broker-dealer or firm. These firms are the ones that will help you take the licensing exams – the licenses you need to operate as a broker.
The basic license would be Series 63 which deals with ethical issues and ethical trading of financial products. Series 7, which authorizes the sale of shares and securities (but not futures or materials).
Can anyone be a millionaire stock broker?
Not really. This is another of the urban legends to which cinema has contributed. First of all, as we have seen before, very few stock brokers achieve such high profit and income figures.
Secondly, it is a career that requires quite a few skills to succeed and progress to the elite of the profession. Some of the most well-known skills are:
● High financial literacy
● Good communication skills
● Leadership and determination
● Control of emotions
● Very high commercial awareness
Curiously, professional ethics, which are not often portrayed in fiction, is one of the rising values in the recruitment of new talent among stock brokers. The combination of all the above elements, plus good professional ethics, is the key to success.
However, it should also be borne in mind that the life of a stockbroker is tough from the point of view of working hours and the intensity of time and effort. Almost all stockbrokers, except for some senior professionals in the final stretch of their careers, work well more than 40 hours per week.