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Career profile Investment Trader

Also known as Broker, Corporate Bond Trader, Financial Consultant, Financial Services Representative, Investment Advisor, Investment Representative, Investment Specialist, Investment Trader, Personal Banker, Stock Broker

Investment Trader

Also known as Broker, Corporate Bond Trader, Financial Consultant

Interests Profile
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional
  • Social
Pay Range
$36,910 - $208,000+ (annual)
Required Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Listening
  • Reading Comprehension
Knowledge Areas
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Negotiate prices or contracts for securities or commodities sales or purchases.
  • Purchase or sell financial derivatives for customers.
  • Price securities or commodities based on market conditions.
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What does an Investment Trader do?

Investment Traders buy and sell securities or commodities in investment and trading firms, or provide financial services to businesses and individuals.

In addition, Investment Traders may advise customers about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, commodities, and market conditions.

What kind of tasks does an Investment Trader perform regularly?

Investment Traders are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Make bids or offers to buy or sell securities.
  • Monitor markets or positions.
  • Agree on buying or selling prices at optimal levels for clients.
  • Keep accurate records of transactions.
  • Buy or sell stocks, bonds, commodity futures, foreign currencies, or other securities on behalf of investment dealers.
  • Complete sales order tickets and submit for processing of client-requested transactions.
  • Report all positions or trading results.
  • Interview clients to determine clients' assets, liabilities, cash flow, insurance coverage, tax status, or financial objectives.
  • Discuss financial options with clients and keep them informed about transactions.
  • Determine customers' financial services needs and prepare proposals to sell services that address these needs.
  • Identify opportunities or develop channels for purchase or sale of securities or commodities.
  • Sell services or equipment, such as trusts, investments, or check processing services.
  • Review all securities transactions to ensure accuracy of information and conformance to governing agency regulations.
  • Develop financial plans, based on analysis of clients' financial status.
  • Devise trading, option, or hedge strategies.
  • Contact prospective customers to present information and explain available services.
  • Track and analyze factors that affect price movement, such as trade policies, weather conditions, political developments, or supply and demand changes.
  • Inform other traders, managers, or customers of market conditions, including volume, price, competition, or dynamics.
  • Offer advice on the purchase or sale of particular securities.
  • Evaluate costs and revenue of agreements to determine continued profitability.
  • Explain stock market terms or trading practices to clients.
  • Prepare financial reports to monitor client or corporate finances.
  • Calculate costs for billings or commissions.
  • Supply the latest price quotes on any security, as well as information on the activities or financial positions of the corporations issuing these securities.

The above responsibilities are specific to Investment Traders. More generally, Investment Traders are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Analyzing Data or Information
Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

What is an Investment Trader salary?

The median salary for an Investment Trader is $64,770, and the average salary is $96,540. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Investment Trader salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Investment Traders earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Investment Traders earn less than $36,910 per year, 25% earn less than $45,930, 75% earn less than $116,020, and 90% earn more than $208,000.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Investment Traders is expected to change by 4.2%, and there should be roughly 42,500 open positions for Investment Traders every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$36,910 - Over $208,000
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Investment Traders?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Investment Trader are usually higher in their Enterprising and Conventional interests.

Investment Traders typically have very strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Also, Investment Traders typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Investment Trader tend to value Achievement, Working Conditions, and Independence.

Most importantly, Investment Traders strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Investment Traders strongly value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Lastly, Investment Traders strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Investment Traders must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, dependability, and attention to detail.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Investment Traders, ranked by importance:

Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

What education and training do Investment Traders need?

Many Investment Traders will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Investment Traders usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Investment Traders

  • 0.9% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 7.6% completed high school or secondary school
  • 14.3% completed some college coursework
  • 5.4% earned a Associate's degree
  • 49.5% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 18.8% earned a Master's degree
  • 3.5% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Investment Traders

Investment Traders may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as economics and accounting, customer and personal service, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Investment Traders might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Economics and Accounting
Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking, and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Important Abilities needed by Investment Traders

Investment Traders must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Investment Traders need abilities such as oral comprehension, oral expression, and deductive reasoning in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Investment Traders, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Critical Skills needed by Investment Traders

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Investment Traders frequently use skills like critical thinking, active listening, and reading comprehension to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Investment Traders, ranked by their relative importance.

Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.