How to Become a Stockbroker – 6 Useful Tips

Becoming a stockbroker and working in the world of Wall Street is something a lot of individual’s aspire to achieve, after all we live in a capitalist society. Maybe you’ve watched the Wolf of Wall Street and want to become the next Jordan Belfort! Just to warn you their lifestyle isn’t as glamorous as the movies make it appear. It’s a tough industry to survive in as you start off working an insane amount of hours. After a couple of years of hard-work you advance to schmoozing with high profile clients and dining at fancy restaurants. You might be getting well paid but the problem is you’re still working like a dog flying all around the globe. The profession has really died out over the years due to the rise in online discount brokerages, nowadays brokers act more like financial advisor’s. Back in the 1990’s was when brokers made some serious dough. 

Despite what I’ve previously said if you’re still interested in this career path, here are give some tips. 

Six Useful Tips

1) Be prepared to gain the necessary qualifications

Get a bachelor degree related to business, finance, statistics or economics. As early as high school, one needs to prepare for what career he or she will undertake. So, it is better to take up modules related to math and economics. A college degree is not required but you it will be a great disadvantage against others who have graduated from the best universities throughout America, UK, Australia and Canada. The knowledge and social skills you gain from college will benefit your career, plus a degree is something you can fall back on if your career on Wall Street doesn’t workout as expected. The industry has a high turnover of staff and has the personality to succeed in this environment.

2) Join Investment clubs at your college

If there are no groups at university to join, checkout some of the investing clubs on meetup.com, there are dozens of social gatherings every week specifically aimed at beginners. Here you gain an understanding of the basic fundamentals of trading stocks which will be expanded upon when you join a firm. It would be wise to open your own brokerage account and start trading with a small bit of money to get a better grasp of how financial markets work. 

3) Follow financial news in various magazines and websites.

There are dozens of financial websites and publications focused on the stock market. Read recommended publications such as Smart Money, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, and the business section of the different newspapers. It’s vital to keep the latest economic news to keep with the crowd. 

4) Benefit from on-the Job Training

The only way to see if this is job is suited towards your personality, is through work experience and that means starting from the bottom of the corporate ladder as an intern. There are reputable companies with brokers who have trainees working as their assistants. Before you undertake any exams it would give you an upper hand to have four to six months of training, this would help you prepare for the upcoming tests. When the trainee passes the licensing exams, he becomes a regular employee of the brokerage firm.

5) Pass the licensing exams

There is an exam administered by the National Association of Securities Dealers. The exam you have to pass is the General Securities Registered Representative Examination (Series 7). Depending on the state where you would want to work, passing the Uniform Securities Agents State Law Examination (Series 63) or the Uniform Investment Advisor Law Exam (Series 65) is also a requirement. The license is needed so you can start earning commissions. The pass rate is about 70 percent. Not surprisingly the state with the most stockbrokers is New York, while the best state to work is in Connecticut.

6) Get ready for the real world and all the stressful situations

After passing the exams, things won’t be easy and expect a gruelling work schedule. Firms tend to hire many fresh graduates as they anticipate that most won’t make it as a broker, it’s survival of the fittest to weed out the weakest. There are also ethical issues related to the role and many new hires quit due to their morals. Are you really capable of using high pressure sales tactics to force clients to invest money into one of your ideas? If you make your clients money you’re their best friend but if you lose them money your the enemy. 

Average Salary?

Due to movies like the Wolf of Wall Street and Money Never Sleeps, being a stockbroker is synonymous with drugs, hookers and hefty salaries. Not everyone make millions like Gordon Gekko or Jordan Belfort. The grass оn the othеr side is not green аѕ it appears and in recent years the average salary has fallen dramatically. The reality is in today’s society, 99% of retail investors execute trades over their computer or smartphone.

Depending оn your work experience, your starting wage will vary significantly. A stock broker with a year experience hаs thе potential to earn аbоut $30,000 to $47,000 annually. As one advances іn thіѕ field and gains onе to fоur years оf work experience, one саn make an annual salary of $34,000 tо $58,000. Since experience is еvеrуthіng іn this business, brokers wіth 10 plus years experience, will earn bеtweеn $50,000 to $165,000. 

Sеlf employed stock brokers hаvе thе highest potential to earn, іn case thеy succeed in thіѕ field аnd they cаn make US$130,000. The lowest average pay fоr thоѕe employed in publicly traded companies is abоut US$84,000. These maу include, but аre not restricted to 1.2 and 2.8 weeks of paid vacations and annual bonuses bеtweеn the amount $2,50о $12,000. Some оf thе highest paying cities include Connecticut, San Francisco, California, New York and London etc.

This is an extremely competitive field which requires a broad set of skills and a certain mental toughness to survive. Over the coming years I think this profession will eventually die out, the 1990’s and early 2000’s is when brokers made decent money.

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