So Bud Fox you want to be a player. On becoming a stock broker.

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Being a stock broker can be interesting and lucrative. How to become one, from a former financial advisor.

Apply for the job. Pick up the phone and cold call the manager of a brokerage house office in your town. Explain to him or her briefly why you want to be a broker. Forget about the whole “helping people realize their financial dreams” bit. Though helping people is what brokering can be about, brokering is a sales job. The manager wants to hear about your desire for monetary success. Hopefully a manager will bite and you’ll get an interview.

In the interview dress better than you ever have. Make sure your suit is perfect. Hold yourself with confidence and strength, but don’t be cocky. Shake hands with conviction.

In the interview emphasize the fact that you are committed to hard work because you had better be. Stock broker/financial advisor is an extremely tough job. The vast majority of new brokers will wash out in the first 3 years, about 75%. To make it you have to work hard, very hard. This means endless cold calling, cold walking, meet and greets etc.

Also in the interview emphasize that you know that being a broker is a sales job. You are not there to be an investment analyst, despite what you imagine. Your are there to ethically and competently move product.

If you get the job be prepared for 2 months of difficult study. In order to become a broker you must pass your Series 7 test. Your job for the first 2 months is to study non-stop so that you pass the test. If you fail it, and many do, you are instantly out of a job.

I have heard it said that the Series 7 is somewhere between a state insurance license exam and the bar exam. Though I’ve never taken the bar myself, my gut tells me that this is probably about right.

Your firm will probably also insist that you get a life insurance license as well, so you can sell annuities.  Focus on the 7. You usually get 2 tries at the insurance license.

Take the Series 7 exam. Assuming you pass, take a moment afterward to congratulate yourself. The Series 7 is a significant achievement. Go out and get drunk because the hard part starts tomorrow…

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