Although much of the activity that occurs in the financial markets is electronically driven, there remains a need for industry professionals, such as investment brokers, to perform orders on behalf of investors. To become an investment broker, you should expect to complete an undergraduate degree in finance, economics or a related field and should obtain whatever license or certification is required where you will be working. Beyond these prerequisites, you should take advantage of networking opportunities by attending job fairs and attending seminars. In addition to facilitating trades in the financial securities markets, you can become an investment broker for real estate by acquiring the appropriate licenses in that field.
It is helpful to plan an education around the decision to become an investment broker. A course of study that focuses on finance will help prepare you for the financial services industry. If possible, obtaining an internship with a brokerage firm is one possible way to win the first job. Investment brokerage jobs exist in independent brokerage firms as well as large investment banks with brokerage arms. If possible, pursue an internship at the type of firm where you would prefer to be employed.
Brokerage firms often look for job candidates who have solid sales skills. This position might require an element of cold calling to potential clients, and it is necessary to demonstrate strong interpersonal skills. You should choose between seeking to service individual or large institutional clients.
Throughout financial services, the precise licensing that is required to become an investment broker will differ based on the region in which you live. In the United States, for example, the licenses that qualify a financial professional as a broker are administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and include the Series 7, Series 6 and Series 63. A U.S. brokerage might require a combination of these certifications, or a brokerage in another country might require similar certifications. You might enroll in an online preparation course for training prior to taking certification exams to increase the likelihood of passing them.
The real estate industry similarly requires that industry participants earn a regional certification to become an investment broker. It is necessary to decide whether you want to participate in the residential or commercial markets, or both. You might be able to land a job interview without the proper certification, but licensing will be needed before you practice real estate. Demonstrating an aptitude for financial modeling in the real estate industry might help your chances for getting hired. Certain firms will hire only brokers who have previous sales experience, so obtaining this type of job opportunity may be the most difficult, which makes networking skills that much more necessary.