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How to Become a Licensed Investment Broker

An investment broker is another name for stockbroker. To become a professional stockbroker, you must pass a licensing exam. Being a broker can be a lucrative career choice for people who like investing other people’s money in stocks, corporate and municipal bonds, mutual funds, options and treasuries, such as T-Bills. For making investment recommendations and financial analysis, the broker receives a commission based on the amount of money a person invests. The financial services industry is regulated and requires anyone involved with the buying and selling of securities to not only be licensed, but meet other requirements as well

Instructions

  1. Visit the FINRA website (see link in References). The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the first place to start when seeking a career as an investment broker. All stockbrokers are licensed by the FINRA which also administers the exam. The FINRA provides invaluable information on what is needed to be an investment or stock broker and offers detailed job descriptions.
  2. Register with the FINRA. All persons who wish to have careers as a broker must register with this agency. The registration form asks for personal information such as name, address, Social Security number, residences for the past few years, employment history and other relevant information asked for most careers. You must also supply fingerprints. You can get fingerprinted at a local police station for a small fee.
  3. Study for the licensing exam. Passing exams is also a part of the registration process. There is usually just one exam that you need to pass. The General Securities Registered Representative Examination is commonly known as the Series 7 Exam. This exam is required of all investment brokers. Some states, however, also require a person to pass the Uniform Securities Agents State Law Examination, which is known as the Series 63 Exam. Check with your state’s licensing board to see if the Series 63 exam in necessary to be a broker in your state. To study for these exams, you have several options. There are books, online courses, classroom work, CD and DVD courses. The FINRA also offers training for the exams.
  4. Schedule an appointment to take the exam. When you are ready to take the test, schedule an appointment at any of the authorized testing centers throughout the country. The test is available 7 days a week in most large cities. The test is computerized so you receive your score immediately upon completion.
  5. Pass the background check. Once you register with the FINRA, your information is sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a background check. Any criminal history will probably prevent you from becoming a broker even if you pass the exam. FINRA wants professionals who are knowledgeable about investments and also ethical.
  6. Once you have passed the exam(s) and the background check, you now have what you need to get a job as an investment broker. There are large brokerage houses that provide a small salary and training, while small firms let you sink or swim on your own. There are many places to get a job with a Series 7 license, such as full service brokerage houses and discount brokers.