Have you ever wondered what it is like to become a financial advisor? It surely doesn’t involve as much glitz and glamour as The Wolf of the Wall Street movie yet it is a pretty amazing job, but how to become a Financial Advisor is question on your mind, correct?
A career as a financial broker does not specifically require a strong educational background. All you need is a profound interest and knowledge of the market. However, if it is the money that drives you to this job then you may end up annoyed and frustrated given the tedious hours involved to learn about the market.
Talking of the finance industry, the stock market is a very fast paced industry that asks a lot of time and efforts to understand it. While on the other end, if you have deep understanding of this industry, some experience and a set of devoted clients, then the ball is surely in your court.
Step by step guide to becoming a Financial Advisor
Acquiring a license
It is advised that you acquire an undergraduate degree as you need to have enough knowledge of numbers and the market. However, you do not just become a financial broker after graduation. In order to start working professionally, you need to acquire the standard security licenses by passing a series of tests like the Series 7 exam and Series 63 exam.
These licenses are mandatory as they authorize the individual to buy and sell stocks, mutual funds, bonds as well as other securities. Although, it not an obligation that you have a proper degree before you become a financial broker (which is not the case of a financial analyst, where a formal degree is mandatory) many firms and enterprises however are now looking for those brokers who have at least a formal bachelor’s degree.
In the process of acquiring a license, a person is even put through a background check where the broker’s financial as well as criminal history is strongly examined. If you have had any cases of repossessions, tax invasion or bankruptcy, the odds in favor of you being discarded from acquiring a license are likely.
There are basically three paths that you can chose when you land yourself a job as a financial broker.
Full service broker
Starting your career with reputed investment firms like Morgan Stanley or Merrill Lynch is often the first step towards gaining experience as a full service broker. To be able to succeed in such reputed firms, you must exactly know how to be sales-oriented. Brokers who start to work with these firms will be provided a comprehensive knowledge of sales as well as product training.
To begin with, they will set up a desk for you in their office, offer training and give a salary until you have passed this trial period as a trainee. In fact, some firms have even reworked their model to allow trainees train for a longer period with even better salary hikes to allow them to be successful. Eventually, many of the successful brokers leave these firms in search of higher prospects and turn to firms like Raymond James to be able to work as independent brokers. Even if Raymond James might not be able to provide office space for your work like a Stanley yet the extensive salaries, which they often are alluring.
Not everyone is born a super salesman and for people who feel that a sales-oriented job is not the right fit for them, trying your hands off, as a discount broker might be a cup of tea. A discount broker is more service-oriented job and one must be idle in managing investments to be able to take up this job. Firms like Fidelity or Charles Schwab might be the best choice for those who wish to begin their stint as a discount broker.
These firms perform the task of providing services and assistance in buying and selling to their walk-in clients and also offer tempting salaries to their brokers albeit little commission or incentives. Many financial brokers prefer to straight away land up a job as a discount broker as their chances of learning the market and ending up highly paid are bright. Not just this, discount brokers have another plus point over full time brokers as discount brokers have a much higher chances of gaining experience than most of the full time brokers who only dedicate themselves to certain area of expertise like employee stock option or probably IRA roll-overs.
Just like any discount firms, banks also prefer licensed financial brokers along with a little experience. Working as a broker for a bank is a completely different task than working with firms like Stanley or Fidelity. The preposition in fact, is so dissimilar that it takes the brokers a little while to come with terms with the working of the banking system.
A bank broker is another full time broker, but with a lower pay out as well as incentives in return providing them access to huge clientele base of that particular bank. Although this job might guarantee you a lower pay out yet one gets to experience a more relaxed ambiance as it saves you form the pressure of selling the proprietary products or meeting the sky rocketing sales quota.
How to Progress as a Financial Advisor
The financial industry has endless opportunities for anyone who is really willing to work in the market. Once you have narrowed down to your options of what type of broker you want to be, choosing the right firm should be your next priority. Take the help of Internet or fellow colleagues to research firms before you start applying. The best thing to do before you kick-start your career as a broker would be to get trained at any firm first that fits your choice and once you are sure that you understand the market completely and have enough experience, then only look forward to becoming a fully licensed Stockbroker.