Get an Education
There is no college degree that will assure your success as a stockbroker. There are, however, certain steps that you can adopt during your years in high school and college to become as successful as Christopher Gardner (Will Smith’s character in ‘Pursuit of Happiness’)
In high school, you can start taking more courses in math, business and economics. You should be able to start acquiring rudimentary knowledge on how the stock market operates, the basics of business computations and the skills necessary to analyze the economics of business. You may even start your own portfolio to gain practical knowledge,
In college, the preferred degrees are usually related to business management, banking and finance and economics. Of course, your courses in the social sciences like psychology and humanities will come in handy in terms of building your client base. You can continue with your investment portfolio.
Aside from getting practical experience from investing on your own, you should work for a brokerage firm. Keep in mind that you need to undergo intensive and exhaustive training with the firm, during which time you can expect majority of your colleagues to drop out.
Also, the on-the-job training takes four to six months to complete. As such, you may have to forgo some aspects of your social life in order to concentrate on your training.
Get a License
Upon satisfactory completion, you will be required to get your license to practice as full-fledged stockbroker. Depending on the state you are in, you will be required to take one or more licensure examinations. These examinations include:
* General Securities Registered Representative Examination (Series 7 exam), as administered by the National Association of Securities Dealers
* Uniform Securities Agents State Law Examination (Series 63 exam)
* Uniform Investment Advisor Law Exam (Series 65 exam)
Passing these examinations is a pre-requisite for your license. If your on-the-job training was sufficient, you should be able to pass these rigorous examinations with flying colors. When you have your license, you can now become an employee of a brokerage firm or, if you are dying to be your own boss, open a brokerage house.
Develop The Necessary Traits
Just because you are licensed does not automatically ensure success as a stockbroker, far from it. You still have to develop the traits necessary in becoming one. Just to mention a few, you will need self-confidence without being arrogant, astute analysis of the market without being a smartass, unassailable integrity without being too much of a saint, and persuasion skills without being the stereotypical greasy salesman. Indeed, your personal and professional traits can make or break your career more than your knowledge ever will.
When you can adeptly combine a solid education, broad experience and training as well as outstanding personal and professional traits, you can become the next Michael Milken.