Interview and testing advice

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Apr 10, 2007 10:52 am

I am currently working as an attorney and I am looking to make the move to become a financial advisor.  I had an informal interview with the Smith Barney branch manager yesterday and I am going in for the testing next week.  I have seen some other posts on this topic, but I was wondering if anybody could tell me what I should be studying and if you know of a good resource for the topics (sounds like math, logic, economics and aptitude).  I was an economics major, but I have not used it since college and I have forgotten a lot.  Any advice would be helpful. 


Apr 10, 2007 1:58 pm

The test being administered is to determine whether or not you are likely going to pass the series 7 exam. Smith Barney, UBS and Wachovia all use the same tests developed by . Fortunately for you Smith Barney allows you to use a calculator while UBS and Wachovia do not. There is no way to study for it other than brushing up on your long division, which you will have the aid of a calculator for. The test is split into two sections. First section is 30 questions that will test simple logic through a series of word problems. The second section is 26 questions that are all math which are not that difficult either. You will need to answer 30 questions correct out of 56 to pass. Hope this helps. I would assume that if you were able to become a lawyer this test will seem quite easy to you. If you search this site you will find that Smith Barney is an excellent place to begin your career. Good Luck.

P.S: I don't think there are any economics questions on the test, just logic and math.

Apr 10, 2007 6:24 pm

Reference my post to SMorgan.

This is a business about building trusting relationships.  Nick Murray writes great books on the subject.

Is is really that hard to make a living as an attorney.  Why do you want to be a Financial Advisor???  Why would people give their money to you???

Tell us the answers, and then be ready to answer those in an interview.

The series 7 test is not easy.  We had a lawyer fail in my class.  Oh, you get FIRED if you fail.  Hopefully, you had some financial classes at school.

Good luck.

Apr 11, 2007 11:48 am

I've heard a little bit about this, but does anyone know specifics of the testing at ML?

I've been told there is some economics and you aren't allowed to use a's been a little while since I've done basic math or econ as well, so any tips for brushing up would be appreciated :)

Apr 11, 2007 12:01 pm

I have taken the Merrill test as well. The ML test is an old test (1987 old) that covers economics and math. Many people consider it much easier than the test issued by SB, Wachovia and UBS. You are correct that you cannot use a calculator however it is not timed so you won’t feel rushed. Practice writing out your long division, which may sound silly but I hadn’t written out a math problem in about 10 years when I took the test and it gave me a hard time although I did pass. The economic questions are basic but not easy if you don’t know anything about economics. There really is no way to study for the economic questions because they are so broad. Hope this helps. Good Luck!

Apr 13, 2007 8:30 am

Orangefan, I'm also an attorney exploring the idea of making a transition to the financial field. If you'll use the search feature, you will find a lot of helpful discussions on this topic. Take what these folks says seriously. The odds of making it in this business are very slim. Another problem is is replacing the income you are currently making. This does not happen overnight-it can 5 years just to make 100k. Long term? I think it's a great business model. My brother-in-law who has about 20 years in the business has an income and more importantly a lifestyle that a lawyer would kill for. You can PM me if you have any questions.

Vbrainy- it's not making a living that is the issue for many attorneys, it's making a living without wanting to stick your head in a oven and turn on the gas.

Apr 13, 2007 9:07 am

S Morgan, I'll take your word that being a lawyer is the worst job in the world.  Personally, I could never do ANY job where I did not feel I was doing the best for my client.  OK to make money along the way, but I am not here to just make money.

PS.  Were there lawyers jumping out of skyscrappers in NY when the market crashed? 

Apr 13, 2007 9:16 am

No, they were figuring out who to sue.