I have no idea how to get started

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Mar 21, 2006 4:22 pm

I want to become a stock broker, but I have no idea how to get
started.  I've never really had an actual job before and I
graduated from a mediocre school recently with a Financial Management
degree.  I've applied to a some companies like Smith Barney, but I
haven't had much success.  Right now, I feel really lost and have
no idea what to do.  Am I doing something wrong?  Any advice
or resolution on this?  How did you guys do get on the right
track?  Thanks a bunch.

Mar 21, 2006 4:23 pm

scratch the "do," that's a typo.

Mar 21, 2006 4:37 pm

It has been said over and again on this board.  But here goes.  Your best bet, being right out of school is to try to get on as a sales assistant in a firm like SB or ML and learn the ropes.   Once you have a grip on the industry and some knowledge built up, you will be a more attractive candidate for advancement into a broker or advisor position.   Or apply to Edward Jones where you will get a very basic introduction into the business and they will train you for the Series 7.    Caution: search the board and read some of the posts on Jones first   it isn't for everybody.


It is sad but true, that your youth is against you.  In your favor is that you are conscientious enough to recognize and correct typos and you write coherent sentences.

Mar 21, 2006 5:47 pm
StupidWorker:

I've never really had an actual job before and I graduated from a mediocre school recently with a Financial Management degree. 


Gotta love the honesty in that sentence alone.  Did you graduate from the mediocre school with a medicre GPA too?


Welcome to the world of the adults where what we do has consequences that can last forever.


An often given piece of advice is to become a sales assistant.  Personally I think that's not good advice unless you're a female.  Most branch managers are going to look at a male sales assistant as being a wimp, for lack of a more gentle term.  It's not unlike becoming a male flight attendant or a male nurse.


Quick, when you think of a male flight attendant what comes to mind?


Is that fair?  No, but it's reality.


Young people who are finding it tough to get in the door need to get  out and sell something for a few years.  This is an industry that rewards gray hair and wrinkles, er I mean laugh lines.


Go get a start on those and come back with a record of success doing almost anything and you'll find the managers to be far more receptive.

Mar 21, 2006 6:19 pm
StupidWorker:

I want to become a stock broker, but I have no idea how to get
started.  I've never really had an actual job before and I
graduated from a mediocre school recently with a Financial Management
degree.  I've applied to a some companies like Smith Barney, but I
haven't had much success.  Right now, I feel really lost and have
no idea what to do.  Am I doing something wrong?  Any advice
or resolution on this?  How did you guys do get on the right
track?  Thanks a bunch.





Try looking at a discount firm...we take anyone

LOL



just kidding......

but discount firms will hire people right out of college.....

that way you get your license and learn more about the industry. 
You may decide you not a full service side and want to stay on the
discount side. Or you may hate the discount side after working in
it.......



Try Schwab or Waterhouse

Schwab hasn't yet decided if it is going to go discount or full service. 



Waterhouse was much more "asset" orientated...however, no one knows
what is going to happen to waterhouse since they merged with
ameritrade. 

Mar 21, 2006 6:20 pm

An often given piece of advice is to become a sales assistant.  Personally I think that's not good advice unless you're a female.


Actually, it is terrible advice for a female.  You get treated like the office secretary and get no credit for any accomplishment or ambitions to advance.  Basically the secretary...oops... assistant is invisible to the brokers and excluded from any socializing, unless you want to count being propositioned for a quick lay socializing.   At least the male assistant is given some credibility for ambition and is generally promoted more often and quicker than his female counterpart.

Mar 21, 2006 6:23 pm

Ed Jones seems like a good place to get started, get practice and define yourself and your style.  Then go Indy.

Mar 21, 2006 6:25 pm

... Or take a look at some indy firms now, visit their websites, etc.  You should be able to pull up a list of nearby Branch Offices and you can call them to see if they're interested in training new advisors...

Mar 21, 2006 6:47 pm
babbling looney:

An often given piece of advice is to become a sales assistant.  Personally I think that's not good advice unless you're a female.


Actually, it is terrible advice for a female.  You get treated like the office secretary and get no credit for any accomplishment or ambitions to advance.  Basically the secretary...oops... assistant is invisible to the brokers and excluded from any socializing, unless you want to count being propositioned for a quick lay socializing.   At least the male assistant is given some credibility for ambition and is generally promoted more often and quicker than his female counterpart.



I think that depends on how large an office you are in.  If the entire shop is four or five people there's a good chance that a registered sales assistant is also the office secretary.


However, if you're in a fifty producer wirehouse with twenty registered assistants that is not the case at all.


In that environment, where the SA's are lined up at desks in front of a producer's office, a male sitting there with the girls is going to be considered one of the girls.  And that is never a good way for a male to be viewed.


I also think it's difficult for a male to even interview for the position of sales assitant because of the image.


I understand that there should be no gender bias and I can hold hands and sing "We Are The World" with the best of them, but the fact remains that when it comes time to deciding who to hire as a new apprentice it's highly unlikely that the manager is going to see that male sales assistant as having what it takes.


Regarding women sales assistants.  Most of them are single mothers who understand the benefits of being in production, but who can ill afford to run the risk of failure. So they stay with the security of the sales assistant job and if they're lucky will be able to strike a bargain with the producers they work with to get a cut of the production on some smaller accounts that they "handle."


I reiterate my opinion that young men, who are heterosexual, should always avoid accepting what is viewed as a job done by "girls" if their goal is to get into production.


If their goal is to get into operations a stint as a sales assistant is a fantastic thing to have on the resume.

Mar 21, 2006 7:03 pm
Big Easy Flood:

Gotta love the honesty in that sentence alone.  Did you graduate from the mediocre school with a medicre GPA too?


Welcome to the world of the adults where what we do has consequences that can last forever.





Rude and true at the same time.  Point taken, thanks.  No argument here.

Mar 21, 2006 8:07 pm

I too graduated from a mediocre school with a mediocre GPA. However, I got unbelievable sales experience. I am 11 years in the business and I still have to get the account before I can dazzle them with my investment insight. IMO I do not think being an assistant is the way to do that, learn to sell and then learn the biz and you will go very far.

Mar 21, 2006 8:49 pm

It can be done, I am young and had a "good" first year. I also did see 6 other rookies leave or decide the biz was not for them. I did not have the grades that impressed others, hell I hated school. I just wanted a check that reflected my work, and it sure does. ( ups and downs) If you have the heart, the work ethic, company pride , product pride, and a little bit of luck, it still can work. I also did not hammer family and friends, those will naturally come when they see you are sticking around. You have to be confident, but not cocky. Make another call, when the one you just made told you to buzz off. unlock the door in the morning and lock the doors at night, work hard and it pays off. Remember it's sales that count and keep you employed. I suggest contacting managers at local firms and talking to them and asking for an interview. They will like that go-getter attitude.


Good Luck

Mar 22, 2006 10:58 am
babbling looney:



Actually, it is terrible advice for a female.  You get treated like the office secretary and get no credit for any accomplishment or ambitions to advance.  Basically the secretary...oops... assistant is invisible to the brokers and excluded from any socializing, unless you want to count being propositioned for a quick lay socializing.   At least the male assistant is given some credibility for ambition and is generally promoted more often and quicker than his female counterpart.




Sales assistant is a great place to start.  But Babbling Looney has a good point.  A lot of female assistants are looked upon as nothing more than a secretary. A lot of male assistants are looked upon as nothing more than cold callers.

Be very careful in your interviewing process if you decide to go the sales assistant route.  Try to get a commitment that they will sponsor you for a license fast.  Also; make sure that you have a good relationship with your boss and that you'll be involved in the entire customer care life cycle.  If you're not involved with customers before, during and after the sale, then you're not learning much.

Finally, realize that good sales assistants are often held back from promotion because they are too valuable where they are.  Be ready to change firms if that's what it takes to get a shot at your own book.

Happy Hunting!

Make sure

Jan 20, 2008 9:43 am

The OP ...this is my life story as well. Same problem!

Jan 20, 2008 12:08 pm

IMHO if you are young and just out of school or whatever I would get my start in the insurance business over being an FA hands down. Rarely will age be an issue with insurance sales, you can build a book that you can bring with you to the wire house, your target market is greatly increased & it too is the sales of an intangible financial product.


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Build an insurance book, sell some mutual funds etc etc. Get a few years of that under your belt and enough renewals to easily get you through the fist two or three sink or swim years and you will be in the seat of power. You will choose what contract to accept and NOT cross your fingers one manager might make you an offer, they will all make you an offer.  
Jan 20, 2008 12:12 pm

Clarification to above post …. An ‘FA’ at age is a financial assistant / secretary.


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An ‘FC’ (financial consultant) is the broker.
Jan 20, 2008 1:14 pm

Gaddock...thanks for the reply. Do u know any SPECIFIC insurance agencies that will hire ANYONE with mediocre grades, mediocre school kinda like whats the "Edward Jones" of insurance companies? Thanks in advance!