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How to Become a Stockbroker

In the past, as long as you knew how to invest and get good returns, you didn't necessarily need a college education to be a stockbroker. But now that the field is more competitive, it's pretty much a necessity to go to college before becoming a stockbroker.

Here's how to become a stockbroker:

  • Earn a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as economics, finance, accounting or business management [source: My Share Trading].
  • Earn a postgraduate degree, such as a Master of Business Administration degree. Although not absolutely necessary, this will help you beat out the competition. [source: A Career Change]
  • Learn about money management and investment. Recommended reading includes William Bernstein's, "The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio," Mark Hebner's, "Index Funds: The 12-Step Program for Active Investors," and anything by John Bogle [source: Krantz].
  • Start an investment portfolio that you can show potential clients [source: All About Stock Market].
  • Get some on-the-job training. You will need to work for a brokerage firm for several months before you can take the licensing exam.
  • Get your general securities (GS) license by passing the General Securities Registered Representative (Series 7) Examination, given by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The Series 7 exam lasts for six hours. After passing it you'll be authorized to sell all securities and investments besides real estate, life insurance and commodities futures [source: Cussen].
  • Pass the 75-minute Uniform Securities Agent State Law (Series 63) Examination, given by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). Most states require you to pass this exam to be licensed.
  • Take continuing education classes to maintain your license.

There is keen competition in this field, so you'll need a great academic record, a strong resume and great interpersonal skills to get your foot in the door [source: Degree Finders].