Stockbrokers do stock purchases, bond purchases, annuity purchases, or share purchases in other investment vehicles. Their work might also include demystifying financial jargon or trading concepts, financial advice, or estate plan advice. If you want to become a stockbroker, you generally will need a college degree, a post-graduate degree, and a passing score on the necessary exams.
Typically, if you want to become a stockbroker, your bachelor's degree will be in economics or finance. Granted, in some cases, you could choose a different college major if you have a large number of finance, economics, and business-related courses that you have taken as electives. Also, if you want to become a stockbroker, the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in finance is generally recommended. The MBA is something prospective brokerages like to see because it shows you are serious about having a career as a stockbroker.
Getting a job as a stockbroker can be difficult; however, pursuing an MBA will typically give you an advantage because brokerages often come to top graduate MBA programs to interview students for stockbroker training programs. If you do not attend a top MBA program, it is still more likely that your MBA program will at least be aware of the various brokerages and aware of their stockbroker training programs. Thus, your MBA program or the career services personnel in the business school at your college will typically be able to help you identify and apply for a training program. Granted, stockbroker training programs are not easy.
For instance, at the beginning, you will most likely have to make many phone calls, attend social events, and do a lot of networking in the attempt to find clients. You will be expected to learn about the brokerage firm you work for and learn about the brokerage's product offerings. Also, you will be required to pass certain exams the brokerage firm will usually sponsor you for. For example, beginning brokers must get a passing score on the General Securities Registered Representative Examination (GSRRE Series 7 Exam) given by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). Other exams that you have to take include the Uniform Securities Agents State Law Examination (USASL Series 63 exam) and the Uniform Investment Advisor Law Exam (UIALE Series 65 exam).
Succeeding as a stockbroker usually requires certain characteristics. For example, if you want to become a stockbroker, it is helpful if you have good communications skills, computer skills, and organizational skills. If you want to become a stockbroker, it is also helpful to be very ambitious, able to cope with all kinds of personalities, and able to succeed under stressful conditions.
Pursuing a career as a stockbroker has many risks. For example, although sometimes you might earn a minimal salary, typically you earn commissions instead. Granted, if you can tolerate high risks and if you are good at your job, the financial payoff can be excellent. Also, if you are a successful stockbroker, you could accumulate a large sum of money in a few years, which means you could potentially retire much earlier in life than most people do.