Working in the financial industry can be a very profitable career choice. Any finance-related career will mean it’ll be that much easier to manage your own finances as you will have advanced knowledge that many don’t have the privilege to receive. One potential career choice is that of a professional stock broker. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the expected job growth to this career is 11 percent which is about average.
Who Exactly is a Stock Broker?
A stockbroker is basically a person who takes the role of an agent when it comes to buying and selling stocks, shares and other securities for customers of a brokerage firm.
How to Become a Stock Broker
Get an Education
In the past, as long as you had a solid understanding of investment matters you could successfully become a stock broker without a college degree. However, with today’s competition a college degree is generally necessary. In fact, most employers only accept bachelor’s degree graduates for entry level stock broker jobs.
Of course, when pursuing a career in the finance industry, you’ll want to earn a degree in either business, finance, economics or any other finance related field. Additionally, ensuring you go to a good college in terms of reputation and education quality is a wise move also.
Internships are a good way to learn more about this prestigious field. Even if the internship is unpaid, it is for your own benefit. This is because in order for you to be licensed as a broker you must have been in employment as a broker for at least four months.
Have an Individual Investment Portfolio
By the time you are out of college, you should be old enough to start and manage your own investment portfolio. This will also add to your level of experience. This is also not to mention the obvious fact that you want to have a certain comfort level when it comes to investing in stocks.
Three Distinct Career Paths
Full Service Broker
If you decide to seek employment at a full service firm, you’ll be allocated an office, a salary and the required training. You will also be given a high sales target that you must meet so as to be retained. This calls for exceptional sales skills.
As a discount broker you will not be charged with sales but only investment management. You’ll be assisting walk-in clients with buying and selling stocks and bonds. Discount brokers get a flat rate salary and generally a much lower commission.
Be a Bank Broker
Banks also employ stock brokers to assist their customers with annuities. Working as a bank broker can build your clientele as you’ll be offered referrals by other employees working at the bank. This, of course, is good for business since the bigger your book of clients, the higher the income you will receive.
Take the mandatory exams and get licensed
To be Fully Licensed Take the Series 7 and 63 Exams.
The Series 7 Exam is also called the General Securities Registered Representative Examination and is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It is very long and can last up to six hours. Armed with this, you are certified to sell all investments and securities except product futures, real estate and life insurance.
This is a 75 minute examinations and is known as the Uniform Securities agent state Law. It is offered by the North American Securities Administrators Association. This exam is meant to test your knowledge as far as all kinds of securities are concerned.
Think about Taking and Passing Additional Exams
- Series 65 to make you become a professional registered investment consultant
- Series 66 which is merely a combination of the mandatory series 63 and 65
- Series 3 to give you the knowledge required in selling future contracts for commodities
- Series 31 to educate you on selling managed future finances
Networking and Education are Vital
Once you have the appropriate licenses and experience, you can now set yourself to move out of your comfort zone. If you are working for a small firm you can apply for better jobs at larger firms. Better still, you can decide to venture out as an independent broker.
So it’s obvious that good education is necessary for you to succeed as a stock broker. Also, reading valuable books will equip you with the required knowledge as far as your career is concerned. Exposing yourself by keeping in touch with what is trending in the financial markets is a good move as well. To learn more about this profession, visit www.stockbrokersalary.biz.
Photo courtesy of: ©Depositphotos.com/AndreyPopov
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