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Becoming a trader – commonly known as a stockbroker – is a challenging position to aim for. However if you have a passion for maths and you love the idea of working in the high pressure environment of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, it could be just the thing for you.

Before you embark on this career, it’s worth finding out a bit more about the trader jobs that are available. Let’s do that now so you can understand what there could be to look forward to in your future.

Unauthorised clerks

This type of clerk does not do any actual dealing. However they will take orders from the trading desk and make sure they reach the dealers who are performing the trades. As you can imagine, working as an unauthorised clerk does give you an eye opening view into the inner workings of the stock exchange. They are not traders but it is worth considering this position if you are looking for a way in and some experience.

Authorised clerks

As you may imagine by the name, an authorised clerk is in a superior position to an unauthorised clerk. It is often the next rung on the ladder for someone working their way up in the stock exchange. They process orders with dealers, and these could be to buy or sell particular shares.

The dealer or broker

This person is the one making the deals, buying stocks and selling them in order to try and make as much money as possible. It should be noted that you don’t see too many job vacancies for brokers in the normal sense. Many of them can turn out to be courses that promise to teach you how to become a successful trader.

So you should be careful when it comes to searching for the jobs you want. You will also see alternatives such as bond traders, derivatives or futures trader and other descriptions such as bond brokers as well. In these situations the jobs point to trading in a particular area. For instance, a bond trader will deal only in bonds, and should therefore have far more experience and knowledge built up in this area. Many traders end up focusing in on a particular area in this way, so it is something you should think about if you decide to explore this career in more detail.

Perhaps the most famous – or infamous – variety of stock broker is the derivatives broker. This focuses on buying and selling so called ‘futures’ and options. Since the market in this area can be very uncertain, it is perhaps the most challenging area you could decide to focus on. Many traders feel they are drawn to this area rather than actually choosing it; it almost chooses them instead.

As you can see, there are a few options to consider if you want to carve out a career as a trader in South Africa. Hopefully you will now have a better idea of what to expect.

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