Trading Assistants – A Little Help From Your FriendsSometimes, we can use some help from our friends. When stock trading, this help can really be appreciated and it comes from a firm’s trading assistants. Assigned to help the stock brokers, trading assistants perform a number of important tasks and can be the face of the firm for many stock and futures brokers.
Trading assistants are responsible for much of the day-to-day operations of brokerages and they perform numerous tasks with a wide range of responsibilities. Many of these tasks involve recording data pertaining to securities transactions. Trading assistants may contact customers, take orders, and provide limited help with investing to clients. Some of these responsibilities only require a high school diploma, while others are considered entry-level positions requiring a bachelor’s degree. Trading assistants often work in the operations departments of securities firms, on the stock market trading floors, and in branch offices. Trading assistants are also known as margin clerks, dividend clerks and transfer clerks.
Sometimes called a sales assistant, this is the most common type of clerical worker in a brokerage firm. These workers are usually assigned to two brokers. They will take calls from clients, input order tickets, open and close accounts, record client purchases and sales, and inform clients of changes to their accounts. Trading assistants must understand various investment options so that they can communicate clearly with clients. Those with a “Series 7” license can offer stock market tips to clients at the instruction of the broker. Possessing this license allows them to provide advice on securities to the public.
Trading assistants in the operations areas of securities firms may have many more duties relating to stocks, bonds, and commodities trading. Trading assistants produce the necessary records of all transactions that take place in their area of the business. Job titles for them can vary depending on the type of work they do:
- Purchase-and-sale clerks – These trading assistants match stock orders to buy with orders to sell.
- Dividend clerks – These trading assistants ensure timely payments of cash or stock dividends to clients of a particular brokerage firm.
- Transfer clerks – This is a group of trading assistants that execute customer requests for changes to security registration and examine stock certificates to make sure that they adhere basic stock information.
- Receive-and-deliver clerks – This type of trading assistant facilitate the receipt and delivery of securities to fulfill stock orders.
- Margin clerks – These assistants record and monitor activity in customers’ accounts.
Changing The Nature of Business
Computer technology has been influential in changing the nature of many of these jobs. A significant and growing number of brokerage clerks use stock market investing software to process transactions more quickly. In most cases, only a few customized accounts are still handled manually. In addition, the rapid expansion of online stock market trading greatly reduces the amount of paperwork because brokerage clerks are able to make trades electronically.
An important position
Whether helping commodity brokers or stock brokers, trading assistants hold many important positions. Whether they are directly assisting clients or learning the profession from the brokers that they will one day join in trading and investing, trading assistants are valuable and important parts of any successful brokerage firm. Many times possessing college degrees and being a visible part of the firm’s contact with investors, trading assistants provide a valuable service to both the brokers and the customers alike. Sometimes we need a little help from our friends and in the brokerage houses that help many times comes from those who work as trading assistants.