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7 Signs You're Destined To Be a Stockbroker

By Mathilde Frot

Updated November 22, 2017 Updated November 22, 2017

The world hates stockbrokers. In movies, they never get to be the likable crusaders or the hapless romantic lead. Instead, pick any film about Wall Street, and you’ll find that stockbrokers are either coarse telephone-slammers with their sleeves rolled up and food stains on their shirts or morally bankrupt psychopaths jacked up on cocaine and unafraid to crush their rivals and the world economy along with it.   If you’re an actual stockbroker, a lot of this is going to feel totally unfair. To make things right, we thought we’d put Hollywood’s numerically literate rejects back in the limelight… If you’re hoping to be a stockbroker, or already are one, can you recognise yourself in any of these?

You’re basically just a massive nerd 


There seems to be a prevailing stereotype that stockbrokers are protein-guzzling gym rats and slick Michael Douglas types who punctuate their speech with expletives that would put Anthony Scaramucci to shame. The truth is, you’re actually just a massive nerd. “Do you lift?” is not a question anyone would think to ask you, but even if they did, you wouldn’t know how to begin to answer that question. Lift what? You don’t even know how to tie your tie properly, for God’s sake.

You find films like Wall Street and Jerry Maguire unwatchable 


Script writers love to use hollow phrases that sound Wall Street-y to them but that either don’t mean anything to an actual stockbroker or which are based on outdated business concepts, like “buy low, sell high” for instance. When your friends dragged you to see The Wolf of Wall Street, you wanted to enjoy it - you did - but the heavy-handed characterization, boring anti-capitalist subtext and offensive cliches about stockbrokers were too distracting. It took everything not to walk out of the film halfway through because it was too triggering.

Your longest relationship has been with Excel 


You love spreadsheets so much that everything you’ve ever cared about in life has ended up on one. From holiday trips with your friends to birthdays, you use it to plan and budget every aspect of your personal life because you’re obsessed with number-crunching, planning and precision to the point of madness. Friends and lovers come and go, but Excel remains unchanging and dependable.

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 about how love cannot be true if it changes for any reason may as well have been written about Excel. The technology is so simple and foolproof, it can withstand all complexities, and you excel at it (pun fully intended). Your formatting is flawless, and you even know a few tricks that would humble Houdini.

You’ve banished certain products from your life as a petty response to losing money on that company’s stock


As a trader, companies are no longer just acronyms and household brands to you, they’re memories - stocks you either lost or made money on. You get l’esprit d’escalier about stocks you should have invested in - it’s not the cocaine that’s keeping you up at night, it’s the numbers constantly going up and down, like the tide.

Most people only have a vague understanding of what you do 


You’re a lone sentinel working long shifts from dusk ‘til dawn, keeping an ever-watchful eye on stocks - and most people don’t really get it. Even your parents have a hard time grasping the ins and outs of your job description, but it’s actually quite simple.What could be simpler than charging a percentage fee to advise someone on what stocks and securities to buy or sell, and then executing orders on their behalf?         

You spend your days doing basic math for people


If you had a penny for every time your colleagues failed to do basic math, you’d be a billionaire by now. It’s really quite shocking to you how many people around you are completely unable to add, subtract, multiply or divide numbers. In whatever social or work situation you find yourself in, you become your entourage’s resident human calculator, performing high-school arithmetic for grown adults. It comes with the job… 

You’ve laughed at one of these terrible jokes 


Let’s face it, your sense of humour is probably warped from the caffeine and company you keep. What do you think of these terrible jokes?

When asked what the stock market will do, J.P Morgan, the banker, financier, businessman replied: "It will fluctuate!"  

Here’s another one for you…

What's the difference between a bond trader and a bond? The bond matures.  

If you laughed at any of these, we know that it’s not your fault. You’re just a stockbroker. Read more unfunny jokes here.

This article was originally published in November 2017 .

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Written by

I'm originally French but I grew up in Casablanca, Kuala Lumpur and Geneva. When I'm not writing for QS, you'll usually find me sipping espresso(s) with a good paperback.

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