One Year Out From Career Change, Advice Appreciated

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Apr 8, 2012 10:43 am



I have served as an officer in the Army for about five years  now. I am getting out next June and going to work for my wife's father. He has been working as a stock broker/branch manager for the last 35 years at a reputable investment firm. He wants me to take his book from him when he retires. I do not comprehend the ramifications of this yet or what the second or third order effects would be.   


I will have about two months of paid leave saved up when I get out of the Army, will this be enough time to study for the Series 7?

Do you all recommend any reading material from now until next year to help me prepare for a career in stockbroking?

Any other advice or tips would be great. Transitioning from the military to stockbroking is going to be a major change.  Thanks for the help.

Apr 9, 2012 11:13 am

For what it's worth, I know a lot of former military guys in this business. It makes sense. You have to be very disciplined and very focused to succeed. Thinking about it,  most of the more successful advisors I know are retired military.

Things I would find out from your father in law: Will the firm pay you during training and what is his exit strategy? I would doubt your father in law is just going to hand you a 35 year book while your brand new to the business. More than likely, he's going to ease you in, teach you the business and then gradually ween himself out of the day to day operations. But the typical arrangement is that you would pay your "partner" for a set period of time (typically 3-5 years) past his retirement. Your arrangement could be different due to the family dynamic but that's "typically" how it works.

As far as beginning to prepare yourself, start reading as many daily financial periodicals, listening to Bloomberg, CNBC, pick up a couple sales books. But most importantly, sit down with your father in law. This is a business he built and if he's been in 35 years, he's most likely pretty darn good. He's your best resource. To continue to do well, you're going to need to build your own client acquisition strategy (as the current book won't live forever) but start with Pop. I only wish I had the type of situation you're walking in to. Good luck.

Apr 9, 2012 3:31 pm


I am a former US Army officer myself, and a Gator here in Florida.  :)  Private message me if you have any private questions.  However, this is a GOLDEN opportunity.  I currently build my book from scratch, which I learned how to do on this board.  It is a fight, and I like it, but hey who wouldn't want to walk into a book?