Brokers Bail on Wall Street

Commissions shrinking as investors turn away from stocks
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2009 2:46 AM CDT
Wall Street broker Michael Kilkenny works the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the market opened late last year.   (AP Photo/David Karp)
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(Newser) – A rising number of stock brokers are abandoning the industry as markets fall and commissions dry up, the Wall Street Journal reports. More brokers have already departed this year than in any of the last 15 years, and experts expect the exodus to continue as investors shift assets out of the market and into safer areas that pay little in commissions.

The big brokerages still compete to hire top performers, but many other workers who fail to bring in high commissions are being shown the door. "It's really hard to make it if you're in your first couple of years," said the chief of a recruiting firm. He noted that many brokers are honing their counseling skills as investors struggle with the impact of the market's massive decline.