The world of financing is an ever changing labyrinth. Even people who?ve spent their entire life entrenched in the business world can still occasionally find themselves overwhelmed.
Two of the most oft confused terms we find are Sell Side and Buy Side. Each of these terms represent an entire half of the financing world, and are deeply interconnected. But what do they mean and how do they affect your average, everyday business man?
What is Sell Side?
Sell side, put simply, represents the sellers. If you a sell side broker, then it is your job to represent businesses that are looking to create and sell stocks, bonds, or even sell business in Florida, Chicago, virtually anywhere! Geography has no bearing on whether someone is a sell side broker or buy side.
Another common term for a sell side broker is a business broker.
What is Buy Side?
Buy side, then, covers any entity that is looking to acquire stocks or buy a business. These brokers represent the interest of investors or investment firms that are looking to find assets that will increase their own personal wealth. The Buy side is at a significant disadvantage, as buyers typically outnumber sellers 15 to one.
Can somebody be both Sell and Buy Side?
While the jobs are similar in some ways, for instance both need a strong understanding of finances, they require a very different set of skills.
Someone who does sell side advisory would need to have many of the same skills associated with marketing: excellent presentational skills, word processing, communications as well as the ability to understand the workings of businesses and provide the owners with advice on how to make their business more attractive to the buy side people.
On the buy side, there is a lot more emphasis placed on instinct when it comes to investing, and the ability to know when to cut losses. They must also be able to oversee a wide investment portfolio, making quick assessments of the growth for each asset.
Whether you are trying to sell your business, or improve your investment portfolio, it can be difficult to understand the complicated language and structure of the financial industry. If you find yourself faced with terms like sell side and buy side, the best thing to do is to try and destruct the term.
If that fails, don?t be afraid to ask.