Are the Perks of Being a Stockbroker for You?



“The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind.”Gordon Gekko

 

There are perks and benefits to any job. If you work at a donut shop, you don’t have to go far for coffee and probably can call half the police department your friends. If you work as an airline employee, you can get discounted tickets on overcrowded flights in the middle of the night. As a stockbroker you don’t usually get discounted commissions to deal for your own account, rather, the perks are more intangible but significant.

Lots of Money

First, you can get paid a lot of money. This I know from experience. The reality is: stockbrokers are one of the best paid professions out there. Period. You have to know a lot and work long hours, so it really isn’t “money for nothing.” But when things go well, hey, it’s a good living.

Nice Office

You will work in a comfortable office right downtown or in a better part of town. Brokers need to be near their clients and those clients have money. Institutional brokers have institutional clients, such as pension funds, mutual funds (think Fidelity), hedge funds, etc. Retail brokers deal with everyone who is not an institution, such as your parents, your doctor or the guy who owns the BMW dealership down the road. Outside the major cities, they may have an office in the suburban shopping mall. AG Edwards uses this approach to be closer to their clients.

Good Eats

You will eat well. You need to take clients out, meet them for lunch or see a ballgame together. Clients like the attention and want to be spoiled a little. You won’t impress anyone or get them to give you business if you take them to the nosebleed seats at Yankee Stadium. If you are successful or are working for an IB, you will have a box at the game. You will dine at the best restaurants as well. If you are not careful you will get fat. I call this “broker belly.”

Best Information

You will have access to the best information. This will come to you through your Bloomberg terminal, your research department and high level corporate meetings and events that you will attend. You will meet the movers and shakers in the industry and get to ask them questions. You will learn much from every meeting.

Smart People

You will work with very smart people. Finance is one of the most competitive industries globally and there are a lot of smart people working in it. There are a lot of not-so-smart types as well, but they usually don’t last as long. Your clients will generally be well informed and have their own views, again, which you learn from.

Stockbroking can be a lucrative and interesting career. Every day you are challenged to make sense of the flood of information in which you swim. Your understanding of the world and how it works will deepen. If you survive, hopefully your bank account will as well.

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