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Careers in Stock Trading

There are several careers that directly involve the trading of stocks, but with different roles. Each requires different qualifications. The three primary careers are those of trader, analyst and stockbroker.

Traders

Brokerage firms hire professional traders to execute trades, and conduct market research on behalf of fund managers. Their job is to make profits for the company and its customers. Traders often go on to become fund managers themselves.

Because this job is arguably the most important job at a brokerage, and trading is risky business, companies will look to hire people with top notch qualifications. This means that a person who does not have a finance degree with a great GPA will have trouble getting this job. Graduating from a top school also helps.

Analysts

Analysts research the investments that brokerage firms make. Analysts issue "buy," "sell," or "hold" recommendations, and produce the reports that traders and fund managers use to execute trades.

Again, because this job is so crucial, brokerages are looking for top talent with strong mathematical backgrounds in business, finance and economics.

Stockbrokers

Stockbrokers act as financial advisers and are the sales force behind a brokerage firm. Stock brokers market financial products to clients, and are authorized to execute trades on their behalf.

Because the stockbroker's job primarily involves sales rather than investment analysis, it is not as difficult to become one. Brokerages will usually hire people with college degrees and sales acumen. The brokerage will train you to pass the certifying exams, and give you sales training to teach you to deal with clients.



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