Scrolling by on the side of a building… or at the bottom of the news… the stock exchange update can look like random lists of numbers. Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents use their knowledge to translate those numbers into investment advice for their clients. These sales agents make trades, advise clients, and sell securities. Sales agents spend much of their time with clients, and deal with a wide range of products. Products they sell include commodities— usually an electronic transaction rather than a face-to-face sale— of agricultural products like wheat or cocoa, or resources such as oil and gold; securities—different types of tradable assets such as stocks, bonds and options; and financial services— essentially, the service of investing clients’ money to increase it, using a variety of investments. These agents differ based on the types of products they trade, the services they provide and the licenses they hold: Brokers sell directly to individual clients and give financial advice. Investment bankers connect businesses that need financing with investors, and may travel extensively. Investment banking sales agents and traders buy and sell stocks, bonds, and commodities for clients and make trades on behalf of firms. Floor brokers make trades directly at a securities or commodities exchange. All of these sales agents closely monitor and analyze markets to stay informed and make strong decisions. They usually work full time and many work overtime, including weekends. Entry-level positions require a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, accounting, or economics. An MBA is helpful for advancement.
What they do:
Buy and sell securities or commodities in investment and trading firms, or provide financial services to businesses and individuals. May advise customers about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, commodities, and market conditions.
On the job, you would:
Make bids or offers to buy or sell securities.
Monitor markets or positions.
Agree on buying or selling prices at optimal levels for clients.
accounting and economics
Arts and Humanities
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
listen and understand what people say
communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
use rules to solve problems
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
add, subtract, multiply, or divide
People interested in this work like activities that include leading, making decisions, and business.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Enterprise resource planning ERP software
Microsoft Dynamics GP
Financial analysis software
Oracle E-Business Suite Financials
Web-based trading systems
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.