How to Become a Stockbroker: A Guide

gopal By gopal 10 Min Read

Vanguard’s web-based platform, for example, provides real-time data in its Ticker Profile pages, but it requires manual refreshing. Schwab’s online quotes also require manual refreshing, but the downloadable StreetSmart Edge platform and its cloud-based counterpart both offer real-time streaming data. Some brokerages increase their commission rates after a certain number of trades. If this is the case, customers that focus on passive, buy-and-hold investing reap the most benefits. By starting with the bottom line, you can easily determine which stockbrokers are too pricey to consider and which simply aren’t compatible with the type of investment activity you’re focused on. Also, find out if there investment minimums for different types of accounts.

  • To get a license, those who pass the test must be authorized by the financial regulating agency.
  • They collaborate with market makers to match buyers and sellers, and oversee settlements involving the exchange of cash for securities.
  • Note that you may see longer settlement times if you maintain a low balance or don’t trade very often.
  • Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us.

Webull stands out to our testers for its sleek, intuitive platform, and its mobile app store scores reflect that. It’s a good choice for beginner investors who prefer accessing their accounts and trading on their phone versus a desktop platform. Once you’ve singled out your best brokerage, it’s time to get started. Use the educational and research resources available to you, start outlining your investment strategy, and make the most of all the tools at your disposal.

Does the Broker Offer Access to a Trading Platform as Part of Their Free Membership?

Access to an exchange, such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or the NASDAQ, is required to buy or sell equities listed on them. A broker must pass the General Securities Representative Exam and have a thorough grasp of the financial industry and laws. While there are no specific schooling requirements for becoming a stockbroker, certain degrees or coursework can give you an advantage in the job. Films like The Wolf of Wall Street and Boiler Room have made the job seem lucrative but risky.


Unlike mutual funds, which can have high investment minimums, investors can purchase as little as one share of an ETF at a time. Traditional full-service stock brokers do more than assist with the buying and selling of stocks or bonds. They often offer a wide array of services and products, including financial and retirement planning, investing and tax advice and regular portfolio updates. But they can charge substantial fees and transaction costs that can erode long-term investment gains. Stockbrokers serve as intermediaries between markets (e.g., exchanges) and the investing public. Brokers take customer orders and try to fill them at the best price possible.

To make it as a successful stockbroker, you’ll need to work long hours, especially at the start, when you’re building your pipeline or list of clients. The job consists of giving clients advice and requires a strong ability to sell, since you’ll earn your pay through commissions. To find the best trading platform for beginner investors, we tested and scored 18 trading platforms, focusing on features that are essential for new investors.

A bill to create such a savings plan for Pennsylvania workers was proposed in 2023. Under the program, known as Keystone Saves, workers would voluntarily forward payroll deductions into a fund overseen by the state and operated by a third-party financial firm. Having a retirement account does not necessarily mean a saver has enough money to retire comfortably. An estimated two-fifths of American workers have inadequate savings set aside to maintain the standard of living they enjoyed while working, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

What Types of Securities Can You Trade on the Platform?

However, the rise of the internet and related technological advances paved the way for discount brokers to provide online services with cheap, fast, and automated access to the markets. More recently, apps like Robinhood and SoFi have catered to micro-investors, allowing even fractional share purchases. Most accounts in the markets today are managed by the account owners and held by discount brokers. Most trading platforms in the United States don’t require minimum account balances.


To buy and sell securities, a broker has to have passed specific qualifying examinations and received a license from your state securities regulator before they can do business with you. If a broker seems to have an unusual fee structure, it’s all the more important to make sure that it’s legitimate, suits your best interests, and complements your investing style. Regular brokers are generally held in higher regard than broker-resellers. That’s not to say that all resellers are inherently bad, it’s just that you need to check them out before you sign up.

What kind of online brokerage account should I choose?

If you choose a major in economics, you’ll study things like consumer decision-making, historical and geopolitical factors that influence trade and how the markets of the United States and other countries work. Check out our list of 6 best stock brokers and see which one suits you the best. The brokerage also has very competitive commissions going down to $0.005 per share with a minimum of $1 trades. All in all, the borkerage is one of the most well-rounded in the business—it also allows forex trading on its user friendly platform.


Qualifications vary according to the broker’s and employer’s unique responsibilities. To work in the US, they must pass the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s General Securities Representative Exam (FINRA). A FINRA member company or a Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) must fund an applicant.

He tells Bane that “there’s no money you can steal” before he gets his head bashed into a desk. Applicants in Hong Kong must be employed by a licensed brokerage business and pass three Hong Kong Securities Institute tests (HKSI). To get a license, those who pass the test must be authorized by the financial regulating agency. Micro-investors can use applications like Robinhood and SoFi, which allow them to buy fractional shares. Large and customized orders for institutional clients and high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) are handled by these firms. These entities employed full-service brokers and were willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a deal to be executed.


This means they are on record with and under the regulation of the SEC. The individual broker should be registered with FINRA, the trade organization that oversees the financial industry on the government’s behalf. Many online brokers are insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation—often referred to simply as the SIPC—which protects investors if a brokerage fails. Many brokers also carry additional private insurance for the same purpose. Testing was led by a seasoned market professional with over 20 years of experience in the markets, both as a broker and a retail investor.

If you trade using this money, a process called margin trading, you can magnify any losses you incur. You can lose more money than you actually deposit—and be obligated to pay it. So if you’re relatively new to investing and don’t plan to monitor your account regularly, it’s typically best to stick with a cash account. Our reviewers — who are investing writers and editors on NerdWallet’s content team — spend months compiling this list every year, extensively testing each brokerage account’s stock trading capabilities in our analysis. That way, we’re able to report on every aspect of the user experience, from funding a new brokerage account to actually placing trades. The investing information provided on this page is for educational purposes only.

Are online brokers safe?

This has dramatically brought down the cost of investing and trading for most individuals. Trading costs definitely matter to active and high-volume traders, but many brokers offer commission-free trades of stocks and ETFs. Other factors — access to a range of investments, the quality of the Forms Of Crm Software research — may be more valuable than saving a few bucks when you purchase shares. You might also want to consider platforms — we have a separate list of brokers with the best trading platforms. Many people open a brokerage account with an online broker rather than working with a person.

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