If you are keen for a career in finance and specifically, in the stock market, then working as a licensed stock broker can be one of the best options. It has to be noted that without proper license, indulging in broking activities is illegal. Though the requirements for a license can vary a bit from one place to another, most things required remain the same. Before we go through the education and training requirements of a licensed stock broker, let us know of their basic duties.
The job of a stock broker basically involves carrying out transactions of stocks for their retail as well as institutional clients. They earn brokerage on all buy and sell transactions which is their source of income. Most reputed stock brokers also provide good advice on investments and trading calls in the stock market which helps common investors make money. Many stock broking firms, lately, have diversified their business model by providing portfolio management/wealth management solutions to the clients. They also assist their clients while applying for initial public offerings of companies.
Get a Degree
The first step is to get your graduation/bachelor's degree in a relevant subject. Candidates with a degree in fields such as accounting, finance, economics or business administration are most preferred by top employers. For this, you need to start preparations right from high school by doing well in subjects such as mathematics, physics, English and getting good scores in entrance test for graduate school.
Work as an Intern
In order to become a licensed stock broker, you need to be in constant touch with the world of stock broking, So, while in college, working part-time for a stock broking firm would be a good option. This will give you the much required practical exposure and more knowledge of your subject. If you do an internship at a reputed firm, you can get sponsorship for the Series 7 Exam which is a must for all stock brokers.
Take the Series 7 Exam
National Association of Securities Dealers is the authority which handles the Series 7 Exam. The Series 7 exam is also referred to as General Securities Registered Representative Exam. The exam consists of a total of 125 questions which you have to answer in two parts of the duration of three hours each. After clearing this exam, you can become a registered representative.
Take the Series 63/Series 66 Exam
After the Series 7 Exam, you need to pass either the Series 63 exam which is also known a Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination or the Series 66 exam which is known as Uniform Combined State Law Examination. After clearing this examination, you can realize your dream of becoming a stock broker.
History of the Person
Educational qualifications, previous work experience and character of an individual are thoroughly assessed before granting a license to a stock broker. Character and criminal background check is extremely important because any unlawful activity done by stock broking professionals can affect the entire stock market and financial services industry. So, it is very important for these professionals to be honest and sincere towards their job.
The license fee is $25 in the state of California. So, it is quite affordable, but the main point is that the fees need to be paid on time to be eligible for the license.
Initially, most stock brokers work in broking firms to gain expertise in the field. Later on, they can work as independent brokers by acting as a franchise for top broking companies. The salary largely depends on the educational qualifications, place of job and type of employer of the candidates. Salaries for stock brokers can range between $60,000 to $120,000 per year depending on their experience.
Stock broking is a good field for those who have good mathematical and analytical skills, decision-making ability and presence of mind. So, if you think that you have these qualities, then this job will help you achieve your life goals.