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How Do I Become an Investment Broker?

Investment brokers help their clients buy and sell stocks and other financial investments. Read on to find out more about how to become an investment broker.

Career Overview

Investment brokers are responsible for buying and selling stocks, mutual funds, and bonds on behalf of their clients. They earn a living by charging a commission on the transactions that they help execute. Commissions may come from the buyer or seller, depending upon the particular agreement.

Important Facts about this Career

Average Salary (2018)$98,770 (Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents)
Job Growth (2016-2026) 6% (Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents)
Key SkillsAbility to make decisions under pressure in a fast-paced environment, interpersonal and communication skills, analytical abilities, the ability to multitask, stays updated on stock market and recent trends and changes
Work EnvironmentMust work during the hours the stock market is open plus extra hours outside of that time period
Similar OccupationsFinancial Advisor, Financial Analyst, Insurance Sales Agent, Real Estate Broker

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education

Although there is no specific education requirement, most investment brokers have completed an undergraduate degree in a finance-related field, such as accounting, banking, or economics. Some may choose to study another business area such as marketing. A business education can provide investment brokers with a basic understanding of the financial world in which they will be working.

Licensing

Most states require investment brokers to be licensed before trading. Licensing requires passing the General Securities Representative Examination, which is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). This exam is sometimes referred to as the Series 7 exam and takes about four hours to complete. Passing the Uniform Securities Agents State Law Examination and Uniform Investment Advisor Law Exam is also required by many states. These are usually referred to as the Series 63 and Series 65 exams.

On-The-Job Training

Most brokerage firms offer on-the-job training to recent hires. This training helps prepare investment brokers for the exams mentioned and introduces them to their new work environment. Most training lasts for several months. Investment brokers who have successfully completed the above exams are considered licensed and may fully partake in the trading functions of their firm. If self-employed, investment brokers may begin buying and selling on behalf of their clients.