January 2nd, 2013
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Become a Trader
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange is one of the most challenging and rewarding workplaces in the world. Just as with any other stock exchange, things are fast moving as traders make deals that will hopefully be profitable.
If you want to become a trader it is well worth finding out as much as you can about this career in advance. While it can bring in great rewards it can also be quite stressful at times. Do you have what it takes? Let’s find out.
What does a trader do?
Put simply, a stock broker or trader (the two terms are often used interchangeably) will make deals, buying and selling in order to make the biggest profits they can.
In other words they broker stocks on the stock exchange. In South Africa this refers to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, referred to as the JSE for short. The job is a hectic, fast moving and often stressful one, although financially it can be very rewarding for the successful trader.
What kind of training is required if you want to become a trader?
You should take and pass the Registered Persons Examination (RPE). This is an eight module course, although only two modules are compulsory. One is an introduction to the financial markets and the other covers regulations and ethics concerning the South African markets.
A degree in investment advice can also help, although it is not a requirement. You should understand that you will be required to sit and pass the SAIS board exams in order to become a member of SAIS – the South African Institute of Stockbrokers. They have strict requirements on the training required to get to this point. Having a degree in investment advice is one of the options accepted. If you do not have a degree you will need to complete a three year course by the SAIS provided by the Institute of Bankers, as well as completing a bridging course in investment analysis and portfolio management. More information on this is available from SAIS.
What kinds of trader jobs are available and what do they entail?
There are some variations within the job role, although most jobs advertised will simply be for stock brokers or traders. However some companies will advertise for a stock broker with experience in one particular area, such as derivatives or bonds for example. So it is worth considering when you are doing your training whether there is a particular area that appeals to you more than another. This could point the way towards the ideal position for you when you have completed the necessary training and SAIS exams.
As you can see this career is certainly unlike any other. It offers challenges, high risks, rewards, a stressful situation to work in and yet it can be one of the most thrilling jobs you could ever pick. You will probably know by now whether it is worth exploring this career any further – and if you are keen to find out more you might just have a great career as a stock broker ahead of you.