How to Become a Stock Trader

A Stock Trader is a professional who is experienced in increasing their client’s assets by trading a variety of stocks in the market.

Even though the most popular vision of a Stock Trader is one of an individual working on the stock exchange floor, the majority of these individuals work for security firms managing stocks.

Individuals who want to become a Stock Trader will need to have attention to detail and the ability to analyze financial information to make the right choices for their clients.

Stock Traders have a strong knowledge of how the stock market works and they use this knowledge to make smart moves to buy and sell certain stocks.

Education Requirements to Become a Stock Trader

Individuals who want to become a Stock Trader will need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in order to enter this profession at the entry level.

Individuals who are seeking advancement opportunities will benefit from pursuing a graduate degree.

In addition, individuals who want to become a Stock Trader will also need to secure a license in order to enter this profession.

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Individuals seeking a profession with a larger security firm will need to secure a bachelor’s degree focused on finances in order to seek an entry level position.

Some common courses of study include: economics, accounting, finance or business.

Individuals will benefit from securing an internship during their senior year of college in order to gain some on the job experience that will stand out to potential employers.

Individuals can seek internships at firms who typically seek interns during the summer.

In addition, individuals who would like to pursue advancement opportunities can do so by attaining a business graduate degree.

The most common type of degree is a master’s in business administration (MBA) which typically takes an additional two years to complete.

An MBA prepares individuals for the business world by presenting real world business scenarios and practices.

Whether an individual pursues a bachelor’s or a master’s degree, they will still need to seek a license in order to become a Stock Trader.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is a nonprofit agency that administers the Series 7and series 63 exams needed to become a Stock Trader.

The series 7 exam and license must be taken when an individual has approximately 4 months of experience working at a brokerage firm.

Depending on the state an individual resides in, they may also be required to attain a series 63 license.

Individuals may visit Series 63 to learn more information on the requirements needed to take the exam as well as some helpful resources to register and practice for the exam.

Stock Trader Job Description

Stock Traders work on behalf of their clients, corporations or individuals, to increase the value of their assets.

These professionals will buy and sell stocks or shares on behalf of their clients and will use a variety of financial information in order to increase the value.

Stock Traders will gather financial information that can benefit their clients.

Stock Traders will also meet with their clients to provide suggestions on how to invest in the stock market.

They will determine a client’s level of risk and use that information to place transactions with floor brokers, individuals working at the stock exchange.

Because this is a commissions based profession, Stock Traders will also spend time building their client base and expanding their referrals.

Stock Trader Salary and Career Path

In 2012, the median salary for securities, commodities and financial service sales agents, which includes the stock trader position, was approximately $71,720 per year.

Exact salary and wages will heavily depend on the size of the firm an individual works for, level of experience and the size of their commission.

The job outlook for securities, commodities and financial service sales agents, which also includes the stock trader position, is expected to grow by 11 percent through the year 2022.

This growth is considered an average growth when compared to other professions and is impacted by the consolidation occurring in the financial services industry.

However, this consolidation will have less of an impact on brokers and traders; this sector is actually expected to experience a growth due to the increase of retirement funds needing investing.

Individuals interested in a career as a Stock Trader can be assured that this is a challenging profession that requires individuals to analyze the ever changing stock market, work with their clients to make wise financial decisions and one with the benefit of seeing a salary that reflects the work one puts into it.

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